I wasted $30 on this. I wanted it to be great; to spite the Disney haters, but this is not the movie that will save Disney’s profitability — this isn’t even the movie that, if released theatrically, would save theatergoing! Two simple words best describe the live-action remake of Mulan — hot and mess.
You know the story; it’s basically the same, but unlike last year’s take on Lady and the Tramp, there is no weight to this adaptation, and what is remembered from the original is done so haphazardly — stoic performances all around (even from the venerable Donnie Yen and Rosalind Chao), a garbage-tier script with additions and subtractions that make little to no sense (Mushu was incredible, but a shapeshifting witch wasn’t?!) and when references to the vastly superior animated original are made, they’re done as cringe-worthy lines from the songs (but spoken — remember, musicals are out of the question!) or as instrumental phrases from the songs. FAIL.
Director Niki Caro (Whale Rider) is the sole MVP of this mess, making a lush visual feast out of a trashcan playbook, but that’s no reason to watch this, much less pony up $30. Hey, Disney, you can’t coast on the glories of the past forever — you put that line in your next live-action remake, I sue.