Here we highlight our choice of some of the more interesting quotes from the Mulan Reviews.

Acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro brings the epic tale of China’s legendary warrior to life in Disney’s Mulan. The story has a fearless young woman risking everything to become one of the greatest warriors China has ever known. It’s all out of love for her family and her country. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin.

PG-13, 115 minutes

  • Released September 4th, 2020, Worldwide Streaming on Disney+ (Premium Access for $29.99 extra)

New York Times’ Mulan review by Manohla Dargis

  • This otherwise less-than-buoyant epic, tracks Mulan as she transforms from an unruly daughter into a masculinized warrior in the name of family, nation and those twinned imperial powers called China and Disney.
  • Xianniang is the movie’s most vibrant creation and an original addition to the Mulan chronicles. Xianniang is effectively a rather-more stern stand-in for the wisecracking dragon (Eddie Murphy) in the animated film.
  • Mulan’s metamorphosis is complicated, to the movie’s credit. Whether she navigates gender satisfyingly is yet another question.

Less-than-buoyant epic

FRO Rating: 2.5 Stars

(our reading of the review)

Mulan - Gone Li
Mulan – Xianniang (Gone Li) ©2019 Disney Enterprises

San Francisco Chronicle‘s Mulan review by Mick LaSalle

  • It turns out that passing as a man is easier in a cartoon. While the animated version comically touched on the difficulty of Mulan hiding her identity, here, it’s a source of constant anxiety.
  • My own favorite shot is when Mulan walks toward the camera from out of a whiteout of snow, revealed for the first time as a woman and for the first time in her full power. It might be the single best moment of the film. It’s certainly the one that best encapsulates the movie’s feeling and meaning.
  • Mulan is a spirit lifter, and though it doesn’t arrive as planned, it could not arrive at a better time.

Mulan is a spirit lifter

FRO Rating: 4.5 Stars

(our reading of the review)

Mulan - Pei-Pei Cheng, Xana Tang, Rosalind Chao and Yifei Liu
Mulan – L to R: Groom’s mother, Matchmaker (Pei-Pei Cheng), Xiu (Xana Tang), Wuwei (Rosalind Chao) and Mulan (Yifei Liu) ©2020 Disney Enterprises

Entertainment Weekly‘s Mulan Review by Leah Greenblatt

  • Her attempts to go undercover are easier to pull off, perhaps, in animation; you’ll have to take it on faith that everyone from her regiment… readily accepts her as boy.
  • The script, by husband-and-wife duo Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Jurassic World) with Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin, more or less follows the contours of the original, though it excises all the musical numbers and much of the levity along the way.
  • Her skills with swords and sticks and arrows don’t come without a PG-13 price tag (though the violence is almost entirely, impeccably bloodless).

Everyone… readily accepts her as boy

FRO Rating: 4 Stars

Rated B+ = 4/5 stars

Mulan - Jet Li
Mulan – The Emperor (Jet Li) ©2019 Disney Enterprises

Hollywood Reporter‘s Mulan review by Inkoo Kang

  • Mulan is never not a delight for the eyes.
  • Liu has enough charisma for a lead performance, but the script gives her no depth and no meaningful relationships to work with.
  • The one element new to this remake that contributes anything of emotional note are the small scenes in which Mulan has to deal with the logistics of being a woman in men’s clothes.
  • All around Mulan, reality stops and starts, bending to the will of the graspers and the searchers. And then there’s our heroine, the void at the center of the storm.

A delight for the eyes

FRO Rating: 3 Stars

(our reading of the review)

Mulan - Yifei Liu
Mulan – Mulan (Yifei Liu) ©2019 Disney Enterprises, photo by Jasin Boland

The Guardian Mulan Review by Peter Bradshaw

  • The live-action remake has blue-chip acting talent and exciting battles, adroitly sidestepping any awkward sexual issues in favour of glossy family entertainment.
  • The battle scenes are very well managed, as watchable and exciting as anything else in the film, although for me the sheen of CGI illusion in the spectacle reduces its visceral power.
  • An enjoyable piece of machine-tooled entertainment – though the envelope is not exactly pushed.

Machine-tooled entertainment

FRO Rating: 3 Stars

Mulan Overall Rating

FRO Rating: 3.5 Stars

3.4 Stars

Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online