Review Round Up: Mulan

This latest Disney live action remake of the animated classic has been plagued by controversy – but can it win over the critics?

The Observer: *** “The combat set pieces are terrific, the scale of the storytelling is epic. It’s a film that cries out to be seen in the cinema. Disney’s decision to bypass a theatrical release in favour of streaming does a disservice to both the film and its audience.” *** 1/2 “Director Niki Caro’s live-action take on the classic story of a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a man to become a warrior is thrilling from start to finish.”

The New York Times: “Set jointly in the Old World and in that newer mythic realm of happily-ever-after female empowerment, this live-action “Mulan,” directed by Niki Caro, is pretty much what happens when a legend meets Disney’s global bottom-line. It’s lightly funny and a little sad, filled with ravishing landscapes and juiced up with kinetic fights (if not enough of them).”

Empire: **** “Bittersweet comes the news that Niki Caro’s Mulan is not only the best live-action Disney adaptation to date, but also a dazzling, moving, hair-prickling spectacle. Because in a move from Disney that at the time felt controversial, and now feels like a crying shame, a VOD release through Disney+ is for many the only way to watch this epic-scale action experience that feels made for the big screen.” is a dour drag as a work of art and entertainment, an empty if occasionally impressive-looking spectacle propped up by some incredibly clunky writing — the screenplay is credited to Lauren Hynek, Rick Jaffa, Elizabeth Martin, and Amanda Silver, and if someone were to do a shot every time a character mentions “honor,” they would surely die of alcohol poisoning before the credits roll under a new recording of “Reflection” from Christina Aguilera.”

Variety: ““Mulan” is no mere remake. It’s simultaneously an homage to and an overhaul of the 1998 animated feature, a robust reimagining of that film’s original source, Yuefu folk song “The Ballad of Mulan,” and the somewhat dated cartoon it spawned.”

The Sun: *** “While there are some spectacular fight sequences with a large – but totally bloodless – death toll, there is a distinct lack of humour in this version, making it both songless and smileless.”

Mulan is available to watch on Disney+ now.

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