'Mulan' (2020) - Movie Review

The story is the one you know: Mulan (Yifei Liu) is a charming and energetic young woman who doesn't impress the matchmaker (Cheng Pei-pei), after which she steals her father's conscription notice and runs off to war. It's not looking like she'll bring honour to her family - a desire that's mentioned several times, just as in the previous movie. There's no comedic, under-powered miniature dragon to help her - but she still gets a household deity to assist, a phoenix that we occasionally see soaring in the background. We find that Mulan has powerful chi, which makes her a great warrior. But as with the previous movie, the revelation of her gender brings disgrace.

Lush, a bit bloated, more accurate to the culture it's based in, and far less comedic than its animated predecessor. Yifei Liu puts in a ploddingly dedicated performance as Hua Mulan. The movie gives a big nod to the martial arts genre with the inclusion of Donnie Yen, Jet Li, and Cheng Pei-pei (and they're not the only actors who have been in martial arts movies, just the most notable). We have fantasy fighting (Mulan leaps from rooftop to rooftop) ... but sadly no serious martial arts choreography.

I didn't mind watching it, but I think you'd be better served by watching the original animated movie again.