Mulan: Legendary Warrior (2009) Review


Verdict: Pretty cool

Follows the main story of Mulan, with the initial cultural aspect.

Review

Hua Mulan (Wei Zhao) sneaks off to war in place of her father (Rongguang Yu) who is ill. Her childhood friend Tiger/ Fei Xiao Hu (Jaycee Chan) is there as well and helps her tp protect her identity from the others around her. They befriend Wentai (Kun Chen) who soon finds out her secret but doesn’t tell on her. Both of them eventually become generals. Directed by Jingle Ma and Wei Dong.

I just recently found out that the story of Mulan did not originate from the 1998 Disney animation. That being my favourite Disney film, I went in search of other Mulan movies, and found this. While the length of the film made me hesitate, I found it quite enjoyable.

The film did not have the Disney/Hollywood touch to it, and as much as I still spend time watching Hollywod movies, it gives a fresh new take on Mulan (or new to me anyway). Quite a lot of the film diverts from the Disney Mulan, but the foundation of the story is still there. Note: The legend of Hua Mulan is actually based on a poem.

The film starts off with Mulan caring for her father, and progresses to the familiar calling for soldiers from every family and Mulan running off in her father’s place. In this film Mulan already knows how to fight before going to war, so I guess that makes it more believable that she will be able to keep up with the others. However, her voice and appearance are still noticeable that of a woman which annoyed me a little (this isn’t an animation after all), but after awhile I got used to it. I still think they could have made her character try more to fit in with the characteristics and the like, even if they couldn’t manipulate her voice or appearance much.

The fighting scenes, though very elaborate was a bit too bloody for me. It wasn’t excessive but I could have done without some of them. The war lasted a long time and I guess this is reminiscent of wars in those times.

I wasn’t really fond of the character of Modu (Jun Hu), who like the enemy in the Disney film, is very exaggerated in his evilness. The way he acts too is pretty stereotypic. Wei Zhao and Kun Chen as Mulan and Wentai (character of Shang in Disney’s Mulan) had pretty good acting, but at times I felt the chemistry between them was too forced, and some parts were also a little cheesy. Jaycee Chan (son of Jackie Chan) did a great job as Mulan’s friend and his acting is actually not bad. In addition, I found it very awkward and random that they had to have a white person in the film for no apparent reason. OK he is actually Russian (Vitas who plays the character of Wude), but still he didn’t do much and he actually doesn’t speak except for one sentence I think. Makes me wonder.

The ending I liked, but I also disliked. If you watched it, you probably know what I’m talking about.

To sum-up:
PROS: Story, action, acting, ending
CONS: Gore, chemistry, random character

I give this a 7/10.

Have you seen Mulan: The Legendary Warrior? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!

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