Entertainment Movies

Mulan Movie in the midst of controversy

This version of “Mulan” isn’t like Disney’s nearly scene-for-scene live-action musical remakes of “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.” Directed by Niki Caro and featuring an ethnically Chinese cast, it’s an epic martial-arts retelling of the original ancient Chinese “Ballad of Mulan.” It’s much more serious and intense than the animated movie, with fewer gender-bending jokes and no songs or wisecracking dragon (sorry, Mushu fans).

It’s also more violent, with both large-scale and one-on-one battle sequences that leave people dead and injured and a few close calls when main characters seem on the verge of death. Weapons include swords, bows and arrows, knives, and flaming projectiles shot from a catapult (yes, the avalanche scene is still here). Romance is limited to a few lingering looks and one meaningful but brief touching of hands.

Mulan (Yifei Liu) strips down to take a bath in a river, showing her bare shoulders and part of her back. Her fellow soldier, a man, is shown shirtless. Fans of the 1998 version should keep their eyes and ears open for several Easter eggs, including cameo by the original voice of Mulan, Ming-Na Wen. The themes of honor, honesty and devotion to family and country and the challenging of gender stereotypes will give families plenty to talk about after watching Mulan together.


About the author

Ike O. Kenndy

A passionate writer and an author.

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