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This is not a Disney's version, it's a live-action Chinese folk tale. Great new addition to the romance of the three kingdoms genre.
There are battlefield scenes, yes... but they are of minimal depiction based on the context of this film, that are used to carry the characterization of Hua Mulan that was perfectly casted with Vicki Zhao at the helm. There's no big-bang action sequence as well, choosing instead to opt for a rather more personal, intimate battle rather than one involving the masses, and also wrapping things up a tad too conveniently, although it tried to redeem itself with a pathos filled finale revisiting the romantic angle once again. The war front scenes were like a quick summary of 12 years of iconic battles that Mulan had led, so those looking for fantastically choreographed battles in the mould of Red Cliff.
Supporting roles range from Jaycee Chan to Hu Jun, who seem rather functional than to add any emotional depth to the film.
That girl should have changed her voice. I mean what the hell, anyone could say that's a girl. As she's acting as a guy, she didn't do that properly. And the whole movie was different from the animated one. It was okay. Not great like the animated one.
Mulan is a film from Jingle Ma that tells the story of the legendary Chinese female warrior. It has its ups and downs.
The story advances rather quickly in the first 30 minutes and it is of no surprise at how a movie of this caliber doesn't reach 2 hours. The rest of the film is a mixture of slow and fast advancements. One of the problems is that the story slows down at the wrong times, which in turn creates the same problems when it speeds up.
There are a number of clashing battles between huge armies of soldiers; however, all come and go rather quickly. There are minor glimpses of some good choreography, but all in all, there is nothing special about any of the action. It is obvious that Ma is trying to dramatize this film around the Mulan character as much as possible.
Zhao Wei is an excellent choice for the lead and she proves it with her performance. Kun Chen falls a little short, Jaycee Chan is acceptable, and Jun Hu pulls off the antagonist to round out the other major players.
The story of Mulan is epic, and it is too bad this film never feels that way. Nonetheless, it isn't that far off and is still a good movie to view.
Forget the Disney classic that you know by heart, this film gives a more realistic depiction. It does not have as big a production budget as "Red Cliff", but "Mulan" definitely managed to bring the story of the legendary Hua Mulan to life. The first-half was choppy and rushed, but the second-half improved on it. If you watched "Red Cliff", you know Zhao Wei would do a good job here since there were similar parallels between her roles in both films. Also, the theme song for "Mulan" is sung by a favourite Singaporean singer of mine, much-missed Stefanie Sun.
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