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Disney's 'Mulan' Remake Completely Misses the Mark

Isabella Pham

Posted on September 19, 2020 03:28

4 users

This disappointing, big-budget, live-action adaptation is a hollow 'reflection' of the original.

Even though Mulan 2020, which costs a whopping $200 million to produce, currently holds the record for being the most expensive movie to ever be directed by a woman, its audience ratings have been lukewarm at best, and absolutely scalding at worst. But where did it all go wrong? Here's how this peculiar twist on a Chinese war turned into an epic disaster.

First of all, the misguided masterminds behind the film didn't understand the point of the story. While the live-action Hua Mulan does struggle to successfully complete her intense bridal training, it's actually one of the only things she struggles with, because — for some reason — she was born with magical powers that grant her superhuman strength and reflexes. These powers are attributed to chi (qi), which roughly translates to "vital life force." In traditional Chinese medicine and religion, chi is a type of energy that naturally flows through every living thing; however, the screenwriters warped the concept to be more like the Force from Star Wars. Not only was this a totally inaccurate and unnecessary addition to the plot overall, but it also ended up ruining Mulan's character development by making her a flawless prodigy.

In the animated version of the movie, which came out in 1998, Mulan didn't start out as an unstoppable warrior — she was just an ordinary girl. She was clumsy and awkward, but clever and determined, which allowed her to succeed in the army. On the other hand, the live-action Mulan is portrayed as a badass — as someone who doesn't need to work around her problems, because she's strong enough to straight-up kill them. It seems like the writers spent too much time trying to make the protagonist look cool, and not enough time trying to make her likable, realistic, or relatable.

In regards to unneeded changes, the dilution of Mulan's personality is just the tip of the iceberg. They also removed several characters, such as Li Shang, Mushu, Shan Yu, and Mulan's grandmother. While they did add several new ones — like Xianniang, a witch whose only purpose is to be a narrative foil to Mulan — the ways in which the writers try to execute the characters' arcs and interactions are depressing to watch.

In my honest opinion, Mulan 2020 really isn't worth the money at all. It's a bland kung-fu movie masquerading itself as the Disney film we all know and love.

Isabella Pham

Posted on September 19, 2020 03:28

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Source: NBC Chicago

Liu Yifei stars a Fa Mulan in Disney’s live-action adaptation of “Mulan.”

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