Mulan Movie Review Roundup — Here's What The Critics Think Of Disney's Next Live-Action Adaptation

Disney’s live-action Mulan movie is out this Friday, September 4, through Disney Plus and some cinemas. Reviews for the big-budget action movie have now come online, and we’re collecting review excerpts here to help you decide if it’s worth your time and money.

Written by Jurassic World’s Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, along with Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, the new Mulan arrives some 22 years after the beloved 1998 animated classic. That film was a musical, but the new one is not. The film, which is directed by Niko Caro, stars Yifei Liu in the title role, and it was recently revealed that “tens of thousands” of people auditioned for the part.

Mulan was originally intended for a theatre-only release earlier this year, but plans changed due to the impact of COVID-19. The movie costs $30 USD to stream on Disney Plus, but if you’re willing to wait until December, it will be included with the normal subscription price.

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For more on the critical reaction to Mulan, head to GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

Mulan (2020)

  • Directed By: Niko Caro
  • Written By: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin
  • Starring: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Tzi Ma, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Ron Yuan, Rosalind Chao, Nelson Lee, Cheng Pei-Pei, Gong Li, Jet Li.
  • Release Date: September 4

GameSpot – 5/10

“Disney’s recent history with live-action adaptations of their animated classics has been a mixed bag at best. There seems to be no real hard-and-fast conventions as to just what gets added or changed in the transition from 2D to 3D. New songs are added, new characters, new plot threads–all, presumably, in service to whatever will help reinvent a decades-old classic for a new generation. Unfortunately, in the case of Mulan, it seems that the calculations were botched right from the start.” — Meg Downey [Full review]

Collider – B+

“2020’s Mulan stands on its own and sets the template for what other live-action Disney adaptations should aim to achieve by being a thoughtful adaptation rather than a pale imitation. … the best live-action Disney adaptation thus far and by far.” — Matt Goldberg [Full review]

South China Morning Post – 4/5

[Director Niko Caro] constructs some splendid action – not least Mulan somersaulting on a moving horse to deflect a spear. While the dialogue is in English, the prominent Chinese cast feels apt in this respectfully told version of the story. True, it’s glossy in that Disney way, but this Mulan is a thing of beauty.” — James Mottram [Full review]

IGN – 8/10

“With sweeping scale, spectacular action, and a dynamic lead in Yifei Liu, Disney’s live-action Mulan updates the original in surprising, mostly-effective ways while still maintaining the spirit of its predecessor, making it the most confident Disney remake yet.” — Laura Prudom [Full review]

Polygon

“Mulan handily clears the bar set by live-action duds like The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, but it still fails to recapture the magic of the movie it’s adapting. It forgoes the strongest ideas in the animated film (the songs and the humble origins of heroism) in order to try to tell a more conventional story. In the animated film, the emperor says of Mulan: ‘You don’t meet a girl like that every dynasty.’ She’s an unfollowable act. So is the 1998 movie.” — Karen Han [Full review]

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