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I had to watch this at least two times to fully appreciate what a great movie this truly is. I was quick to judge it the first time as I was looking for things that made the 1998 animated version so endearing. Because the comical aspect of the 98 version was missing and the best musical tracks in the animated version “Mulan’s Decision (synthesized version)” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” were nowhere to be found, I immediately passed this 2020 version off as a major Disney flop. 

Then I decided to watch it again as a movie of its own merits and astonishingly found it captivating, magical and moving (there were several scenes that were heartwrenching). 

Yifei Liu’s performance lends credibility and evokes emotions to those heartstrings tugging scenes. 

As many others have said, this movie is visually stunning. Even though the action scenes look like your typical HK martial arts/wuxia films, I thought that they were better staged and executed here. You can tell there’s Hollywood influence in how the battle scenes are set up and staged (a la Braveheart and Gladiators). 

One of the best scenes in the movie is the “Wonder Woman” moment when Mulan tranforms into her true self on the battlefield when she lets her hair down and thick locks flowing against the icy wind. That was such a great pivotal moment in the film when she discovers that the only way you can be your best and succeed at what you set out to do is by being true to yourself.  The introduction of a new character, the Witch (played by Gong Li), seems strange at first but if you sit through the film, you’ll see how important of a role she plays in Mulan’s transformation.

It’s apparent that the filmmakers have a goal and vision for this film to be an epic drama on the grand scale of past Hollywood blockbusters like Braveheart and Gladiators, and this they certainly did achieve. This is a masterful piece of spectacular cinematic storytelling with great acting.

This is a must see and is worth the $30 premier access fee.
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