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Plot:

When barbarian hordes threaten her homeland, the brave and cunning Mulan disguises herself as a male soldier to swell the ranks in her aging father’s stead. The warrior’s remarkable courage drives her through powerful battle scenes and brutal wartime strategy. Mulan loses dear friends to the enemy’s blade as she rises to become one of her country’s most valuable leaders – but can she win the war before her secret is exposed?

Also Known As: Mulan, la guerrière légendaire, Mulan - Legende einer Kriegerin, Mulan: Rise of a Warrior, Mulan: Warrior Princess, Мулан, Mulan: Legendary Warrior, Hua Mulan, Mulan

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  • preben-ostergaard
    preben ostergaard

    Hua Mulan is the most famous Chinese folklore. Thus, there are many versions of this classic story. Sad to say, this isn’t one of the better ones. Vicki as Mulan was not a wise choice. She doesn’t look like the type of responsible, mature girls. She’s more of the impulsive wild child like Sun Shang Xiang. Although both Sun and Hua are women fighting in a war, they differ. Sun is royalty who fights with no risk of being discovered she is a girl. Hua is disobeying the capital rule of fighting as a girl. I was so disappointed with mulan. She is no way a drunkard, or desperate lover. Sure, Vicki did well in the fight scenes, but the emotional parts are too boring. Chen Kun can’t act. He looks ugly, not as handsome as his character in Painted Skin. The storyline is borderline trash. Vicki masquerading as a servant to get close to Chen Kun? White man Vitash seems to join in the fun somehow. Chen Kun turned out to be a prince. Vicki got discovered so early. None of these is really historically accurate. Sure, you can take some creative liberties, but this is STRETCHING the truth.

  • isira-bianchi
    isira bianchi

    It is probably not all that strange that there is a Joan of Arc legend coming out of China, and when one considers it, there are probably a few stories floating around where somebody rose above their disabilities to become great. I say that because in these times women were supposed to stay at home in the villages while the men went to war, this was the case in 16th Century France as it was here in China. Okay, Joan was considered touched by God as it was a vision that made her take the fight to the English, where as Mulan did it out of a sense of honour.The period in China in which this story is set is quite vague. China has, for most of her history, pretty much dominated the region that it dominates now. China was never a collection of countries fighting against each other because once the Chin’ reached dominance, despite the empire waxing and waning, it has always mostly been China. However, at the time of this movie, the Wei people were under attack from roaming bandits, but these bandits had decided that raiding wasn’t as good because when winter comes they always had to return home, so they decided to invade and stay.The people of Wai thus had to go to war, and as was expected every family was to put up a male to join the army. With Mulan’s family, a family with a long tradition of warriors, this was not possible as there was no males. So, instead of her elderly father going to war, Mulan disguises herself as a man and goes in his place. Though a lot of fortune, Mulan finds herself at the head of the army and she goes down in history as a great warrior.This movie isn’t so much about how she hides among the men. It seems that it wasn’t all that difficult. Chinese people don’t grow facial hair like we do, and their hair was long, so as long as she remained clothed, she was safe. However she is caught out, but the person who catches her is on his way up anyway and decides to protect her, but as he goes up the ranks he brings Mulan with him.One of the things that made me think while watching this film is whether there is any incidence of grace or self-sacrifice outside of the Christian sphere. That is a very debatable point. Now, we see examples of this in this film, such as when the prince offers himself up to save his troops, or when Mulan takes her father’s place, or even when she claims to be the thief of the prince’s Jade card. However, this is a modern rendition of the story, so it is difficult to pull these ideas out of a modern mind set. In those days it was all about honour. If one’s family is dishonoured, then you go an deal with it, violently or not. There is discipline, but this is something that is enforced to make a good army, not to show the graciousness of the human heart.Anyway, this film was okay. Not strictly an autobiography since Mulan seems lost in the mists of legend (unlike Joan of Arc) and her story comes down to us through a Chinese poem that has survived. However it is interesting to see a similar theme playing out through human history, and that of the person overcoming prejudices to succeed.

  • jonathan-reyes
    jonathan reyes

    An uninteresting folk tale…The problem with Mulan is the film itself is not interesting enough to sustain the audience attention. The film is actually decently filmed and filled with decent performances. However for a story like Mulan, one expects far better. One main concern is that I felt nothing for any of the characters, no matter how terrible the situation maybe. Nor do I feel the smartness or freshness in the tactics used. This is especially evident, after the Red Cliff series. Truism tells us all, that director Jingle Ma is not exactly the best director for substance. Coolness is what he is famous for. Think Tokyo Raiders. Unfortunately, Mulan never matches the level of fun within Raiders, but a more like-for-like comparison gives us the disappointing Butterfly Lovers. A bit better than his last venture, but the final output remains largely un-spectacular.The story goes like this: Girl goes to army. Girl falls in love with army general. Girl becomes the general. If you are Chinese, chances are you already know the story. If you like Disney, you probably know it as well. For accurately purposes, minus the talking dragon.Vicki Zhao Wei is actually well casted as the tomboyish Mulan. Zhao Wei basically played a similar role in Red Cliff. She is natural enough not to disappoint, but fails to be anything more than decent. Her chemistry with General (played by Alloy Chen) is more manufactured than love. Likewise Alloy Chen does well without standing out. Uninteresting can be as much as a problem as over-doing something. Veteran Yu Rong-Guang does reasonably well considering his limited screen time. Once again, Jaycee Chan continues to show exactly why he is quite simply just riding on the more famous Chan’s fame. He does somewhat redeems himself in the final few moments of his screen time, but yet another non-existent performance. As for Mr. Hu Jun, well he is Hu Jun. Just as he played the villain role so well in Bodyguards and Assassins, Hu steals the spotlight. The result is being the most interesting figure within an uninteresting flick.All in all, Mulan is ultimately an uninteresting look at the life of a folktale heroin. Blame should really not be dealt to the actors, but rather the usage of Jingle Ma. Director Ma has never been known for making emotive dramas or at least movies with substance over style. Ma has always enjoyed painting a good picture, striking a good pose and excellent photography skills. Unfortunately, all you can say is that Mulan is beautiful to look at and nothing more. A tad better than Butterfly Lovers, but even that is not an achievement to be proud of… (Neo 2010) I rate it 4.5/10www.thehkneo.com

  • dr-sebastian-simonsen
    dr sebastian simonsen

    Just watched this yesterday with full of anticipation coz I love epic films like these. Boy, was I in for a disappointment. We all know of the legend of Mulan. Remaining true to the legend, Mulan takes place of her father to fight in the war. What happens after that is subject to artistic interpretation by the producers.What do the producers hope to achieve in this film? Is it a war epic ala Red Cliff or a romantic movie? It fails on both counts. The battle scenes are sparse and non-spectacular. Unfortunately, there is NO chemistry between Wei Zhao (Mulan) and Kun Chen (Wentai) to make us believe that they are truly star-struck lovers who would sacrifice life and limb for each other. The producers failed to pay attention to character development. Which is a shame, actually. Earlier in the movie we are told that Mulan learnt kung-fu and yet displays of this ability is practically non-existent in the movie. Perhaps the producers had a change of heart during filming as to the direction of the film? No sparks or fireworks between the two main characters to convince us that Mulan would fall head-over heels for Wentai.So in a nutshell the answer is … no. Not worth my time. Was a little hesitant at first but watched it with an open mind. However, it fails on all counts both as a war epic and as a love story.

  • dr-kovacs-robert-akos
    dr kovacs robert akos

    Forget about the sugar-coated Disney versions and forget about talking animals. This 2009 movie is based on the legend of Mulan, the woman taking the place of her father in order to go to war, and whose accomplishments led her to rise as a general in the Wei army.While this movie is entertaining in terms of action, drama and warfare, then if you are already familiar with the story of Hua Mulan, then there is very little surprises throughout the course of the movie. Well, aside from the devious Mushu dragon is not here.”Hua Mulan” does differ from many other movies in the genre, that being big, epic war movies. Sure, there are battlescenes throughout the movie, and they are impressive, but if you are expecting the same grand level of epic warfare as in many other movies of the Chinese warfare genre, then you might find yourself somewhat disappointed. “Hua Mulan” focuses more on drama and character Development, as such it is story- and character-driven, putting the war and action sequences in second line.I was especially impressed with the costumes and props in “Hua Mulan”. There were some many great details to be seen here. The armors, shields and weaponry was really impressive. And for a movie set in this age, then having a believable and realistic presentation is a must. So thumbs up on their achievement here.The acting in the movie was good, although I think they could have had some more talented people in the roles of Hua Mulan (played by Wei Zhao) and Fei Xiaohu (played by Jaycee Chan). Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t do poor jobs, I just think that someone more talented could have added more to the movie. Kun Chen (playing Wentai) was really doing a phenomenal job though, and he alone lifted the movie a great deal.”Hua Mulan” is a good and entertaining movie. But there are far better choices in the Chinese warfare genre, should you be looking for such entertainment. I am rating “Hua Mulan” six out of ten stars.

  • agafonov-mark-tikhonovich
    agafonov mark tikhonovich

    I had the opportunity to see this movie when I was in Asia. I was quite excited to learn that they’ve made a cinematic version of Mulan and used real characters and none of the twisted-tale of the original that Disney is famous for. Mind you, I quite enjoyed the Mulan that Disney made. Please bear in mind that the movie is not meant for kids due war-violence and some gore.The movie was a total disappointment. The characters were not believable and I felt throughout the movie that the soldiers or military personnel around Mulan are either too stupid to figure out she’s female or in major denial. The makers of this movie could have chosen a more masculine female to play the role or perhaps try to make Mulan mask her identity a little harder but none was achieved here. She was way too pretty. Nothing wrong with that. I didn’t quite figure out why Vitas was even portrayed in this movie other than the fact that he was every Chinese teen-idol in Asia trying to woo the age group here to fill seats in the theatre. It tries too hard to have all the elements of grand cinema feel like the ‘Red Hill’ or even ‘Hero’ but fails miserably. The fight scenes were too choreographed and looks fake and the bad guys were just too corny.I apologize if this review is not more constructive but I expected more from the movie. Instead I left the theater feeling this was pathetic attempt to replicate Disney’s Mulan and tries to be original. Just my 2 cents. I would still recommend people to see it.

  • lazareva-mariia-sergeevna
    lazareva mariia sergeevna

    This is a live action version of the girl who replaced her father and went off to war so that he wouldn’t have to. Aaay for twelve years she rises up the ranks becoming a general and hero of the nation, all the while never really being found out.I had read that this was a big budgeted Chines film that got a big push since Mulan is a national hero. To me she deserved better. The film plays as some sort of epic soap opera. Will Mulan be found out (when she is everyone seems not to care and agrees to keep quiet) will she find love? (Hey that price looks kind of nice). Will she defeat the invading nomads? (what a stupid question) For me the trouble is not the story its how its told. As I said I felt like it was a breathless soap opera at times. The film also feels like a TV movie with little sense of reality and sense of place. Okay yes we are in a desert or grassland or where ever but there is also little sense of anything outside of the shot. Armies seem to exist only with in the frame of the film, they don’t bleed off the screen. Actually that kind of explains the trouble with much of the film, it seems to be a series of shots put together to tell a story that never seem not to be the singular shots. Watching the climatic battle in the villains tents I never felt it was a singular action sequence, rather it felt like series of shots.(okay wrestle a bit. Good. Now wait a minute while we change position. Okay cameras set up now flip him over. Good. Now next shot….) It’s not bad but it is bland. I couldn’t figure out why I was watching it. I’m guessing you’ll ponder the same thing. (and I haven’t even mentioned its use of CGI for some very basic things… but thats another story entirely)

  • brenda-mitchell
    brenda mitchell

    I never knew the Mulan story before Disney’s released it’s version and it is one of my favorite Disney movies. While I understood this was not going to be the feel good movie that you find with Disney, I did expect it to be just as entertaining. It wasn’t epic but I did enjoy the film.This doesn’t focus of the training of a young woman’s military skills. It was my perspective that this was much more about how she had to overcome her emotions to break through and become a great general. I felt that they did a good job at portraying her struggle while not allowing her to lose all feeling.It was well acted even if I didn’t particularly care for the choice of Mulan. There was just something off there. The script was decent but the camera work could’ve been a bit better.Overall it is not a back live action version of this tale of folklore. I won’t have a problem recommending it.

  • nora-frandsen-johansen
    nora frandsen johansen

    Some of the reviews are directly about the overall quality of the film (as should be when reviewing) but some are also way out of the picture, pun intended, IMHO! Of course its not Gladiator…its not set in the confines of an Arena so you gave a good review but with a terrible analogy. If you have read all the reviews, as I did, I think you will all know which one it is when I say was this person even reviewing the right film.The one thing that needs to be said about a film of this calibre, is that you have to be into this kind of movie and the Far Eastern ways of making films. Asian movies are so very different in the way they are made so forget the Cameron or Scorsese style of directing etc. Its not meant to be an epic tale and it follows none of the same paths travelled in previous offerings…including the 1964 release! Instead this explores how her heart and mind struggled with the emotional content of her 12 years of constant battles, death, killing and the loss of her close friends in a senseless war of greed (as well as the immense worry she carried for her father and his ailing health). And then at the wars end to lose her first love for the sake of her country. Her PTSD level must have been off the chart for the poor girl.I gave it a mark of 9/10 purely because there were a couple of iffy camera moments and, the battle scenes were not of the usual high quality. Unusual for a high end film and the fact that the soldiers of the armies were most likely real PLA soldiers; something that is done in most large battle scene movies in China…they use the real army. Someone said the army was CGI? Uh uh…not likely! The Chinese movie industry only uses CGI for its way out high fantasy productions such as ‘The Monkey King’ films.Best thing is to watch it and expect nothing so that you can view it with an unfettered view. Wei Zhao, as Hua Mulan, plays her part fantastcally and her co-star love interest Kun Chen, as Wentai, is excellent also. All the major characters were exceptionally well played by the actors in their roles.

  • aitor-reina-bernad
    aitor reina bernad

    The movie may seem kind of dull form time to time, and the dialogue was a bit off in my opinion, but maybe it’s because I don’t know much of the language. But the action, the acting and the characters make it a good story. The costumes, the scenery, and the tone never seems forced. You can’t really predict what it is going to happen next. When it fails, it fails. When it succeeds, it isn’t amazing, but it’s entertaining. Still, I don’t find it a movie to watch over and over, it can get boring like that. Not an incredible movie, but it wouldn’t really hurt give it a watch. A good way to spend the time.

  • geronimo-arreola
    geronimo arreola

    First, let us dispel some misunderstandings. ‘Mulan’ is folklore–like Robin Hood, King Arthur–initially popularized as literary fiction, perhaps with some ‘historical grounding’, but so heavily mythologized that what is ‘fact’ and what is ‘fiction’ is virtually indistinguishable (this in turn produces multiple versions of the story, including of course, Disney’s campy animated ‘revision’). I specifically mention this because as silly as the ‘plot twist’ near the end of the film may seem to those familiar with the premise of the story, it is not nearly as silly as the rest of the film—-and just as a footnote, this version is campier than Disney’s.Zhao Wei plays Hua Mulan, a young woman who pretends to be a man in order to substitute her ailing father as a conscript in an army raised by the Northern Wei dynasty to fend off incursions by the Rouran Confederacy. Since women are not allowed in the military, she conceals her sex from her comrades while simultaneously demonstrating how much better she is as a warrior than her male colleagues. Yes, Zhao Wei is a bad choice for this role. Her ‘speech scenes’ are particularly painful to watch. She seems incapable of shaking her soft-spoken and demure mannerism and it is hard to believe how anything she says can actually mobilize the morale of an entire army before a battle. There was virtually no transformation between her ‘rural girl’ persona and her ‘soldier’ persona other than what she was wearing (which made the gap in her acting even more apparent). Her appearance in this film as ‘a woman dressed as a man’ is no more convincing than her cameo appearance as ‘a woman dressed as a man’ in John Woo’s “Red Cliff II.” The difference is that in this film, that is actually central to the plot.The battles were uninspiring and poorly paced. Fast-motion fight scenes intended to conceal the fact that most of the actors were physically inadequate for their roles, coupled with too many slow-motion sequences of people getting impaled or killed, made for lousy, lousy battles. “300”, while not a good film, has at least proved that this could be better done (first by asking the actors to get into shape…). The army field formations were sort of epic but brief, as much of the cameras’ attention were focused on individual fighting (meaning that you don’t see “big battles”, only CG generated/enhanced armies standing around or moving, then small battles with that annoying fast-motion sword swings/spear lounges and slow-motion death scenes…). Lastly, the whole ‘band of brotherhood’ rhetoric was just entirely over-the-top, more so than even the silly (but at least expected) love story. Poor choice of actors, poorly written script, mind-numbing dialogue, bad filming techniques, and too big a budget for its own good. If you liked this film, you’re letting something get the better of you….like your h***-on for Zhao Wei or a misguided sense of Chinese nationalism….

  • jarrod-parker-dean
    jarrod parker dean

    Thanks to Disney basically everyone already knows the story of Mulan. It’s actually amazing how much better that movie is still, when compared to this one. It does a superior job at basically every department, most notably with its storytelling.This movie has absolutely got some of the worst pacing I have ever seen in any type of film. I just couldn’t believe how bad it was! The pacing is totally off and there is absolutely no build up to anything! Not to its romance, not to its drama, not to any of characters, not to any of its action. Things just happen and often way too fast of each other. The one moment they are sitting in a tent, 20 seconds later they are training, 10 second later again their bathing and 15 seconds after that they are fighting an epic battle suddenly. And no, I’m not even making this up. How are you ever supposed to feel or care for anything that is happening in this movie, or for any of its characters. To be frank, I liked- and was interested far more in the movie its cartoonish villain.But you just can’t simply blame only the pacing for this movie its failure. Credit for that also needs to go to Jingle Ma & Wei Dong very lifeless and unimaginative directing and the script, written by Ting Zhang. Just when you think that the movie is starting to get interesting and somewhat remotely epic, it has to make room for some soap-opera developments. This becomes especially disturbing at its end, which is just such a big anti-climax and totally not something that you would want and expect from a movie that presents itself as an epic.But it’s already very distracting to begin with how flawed its main premise is. It of course builds on the fact that the main character is a woman, who tries to pass herself off as a man, in order to serve in the Chinese army, instead of her fragile, old father. Problem is that at no time Wei Zhao ever looks or even acts like a guy. She talks, walks and behaves like a woman, as if she isn’t even doing an attempt to hide her gender. highly annoying, unlikely and distracting that no one in this movie seems to notice that ‘he’ is actually a she.The story has some soap opera type of developments to it but also has the look of it. This movie looks like it was a got made for TV production, while the movie still tries to present itself like its a grand, expensive movie of epic proportions. Granted that some of the battles are pretty good looking but the movie really doesn’t put enough focus on them.Also annoying how patriotic this movie tried to be. It’s a Chinse movie about a well known and inspirational Chinese figure, so it’s understandable that they are proud of it and want to show this but the script is totally not suitable for a patriotic and nationalistic approach. It just isn’t solid enough and has some really poor dialog, which lets the patriotic moments come across as weak, as well as misplaced.No, this never looked like a solid movie to me but I was at least expecting some entertainment and a good story to follow, since the tale of Hua Mulan in itself is of course a really great and fascinating one. This movie however just never surpasses the level of a straight to DVD or made for TV drama-production, with cardboard characters and bad dialog, disappointing acting and soap like developments with its story.4/10http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/

  • kazimierz-wisz
    kazimierz wisz

    By all rights, MULAN should be THE definitive retelling of the story about the famous woman warrior: it’s a big-budget Chinese historical war film, made with a huge crew and cast, actors who have previously excelled in other movies, and a thoroughly serious look at a woman out of place in a man’s world. Yet it turns out to be a total flop.The blame should be laid at the door of scriptwriter Ting Zhang, whose leaden and obviously obvious attempts at emotion and characterisation drag this one into the mire from the very beginning. Unlike recent, rousing fare from China such as RED CLIFF or THREE KINGDOMS, MULAN is a maudlin and pondering exercise in narrative that doesn’t really seem to be about anything. Those hoping for spectacle and battle will be sorely disappointed, as Jingle Ma’s appalling direction sees the war scenes glossed over and dealt with in a purely defunct way.Instead, at least half of the (oh so lengthy) running times chronicles Mulan’s descent into an endless depression as she laments a lost love and wishes she were elsewhere. The viewer will sympathise. Zhao Wei’s acting can’t be faulted, but the attempts at character and personality are so poorly conceived that the audience couldn’t care less about any of the characters, from Jaycee Chan’s irritating attempts at a buffoon to Kun Chen’s bawling crybaby.Although the cinematography makes this film look good, it’s far from entertaining. The dull-as-dishwater storyline means there’s no decent action, the choreography is frankly terrible, and aside from a thirty-second segment at the climax, there’s no excitement or suspense to speak of. MULAN should be an instant classic; instead it’s a crashing bore.

  • eloah-da-conceicao
    eloah da conceicao

    Although I like films that depict the legendary Mulan, I feel that in this particular film, the producers did a rather poor job in concealing Mulan’s gender while she was in disguise. For example, unlike the Disney version, in this version Mulan does not use an alias when enlisting in the military. This immediately caught the attention of a close friend of hers, who recognized who she was, thereby causing Mulan to blackmail him into keeping her true gender secret. Since “Mulan” is a decidedly feminine name in Chinese, it beggars belief that more people didn’t question Mulan’s gender upon hearing her name. In the film, there were only two people in the military who knew Mulan’s true gender before her self-disclosure at the end, but this seems very unrealistic in real life given the facts/circumstances of this film.

  • philip-olsen
    philip olsen

    In the fifth century China is constantly being attacked by the marauding Rouran from the north. In order to protect the country each military family must send one male to fight. Being the only man in his family retired soldier Hua Hu enlists to fight despite being unwell; knowing he will die if he fights his daughter Mulan goes in his place. She has trained in martial arts and excels in her first battle; this leads to her rapid promotion. Surprisingly only two people know her secret; a childhood friend from her village and Wentai, the battalion’s second in command, who decides to protect her secret. Mulan and Wentai rise to the rank of general after many victories but eventually Mulan has had enough of the killing; Wentai tells her she can sit out the next battle and almost inevitable when it is over she hears that he has been killed. Her moral and that of her men collapses but her old friend persuades her to return training and once more battles are won. Ultimately she must face the brutal Rouran leader and decide just how much she is willing to sacrifice for her country.Like many people my introduction to the legend of Mulan was the Disney animation; not surprisingly this is a very different affair… more deaths and less singing! The biggest surprise for me was that this legendary characters isn’t depicted as an unswerving heroine; she has her doubts and questions what she is doing which makes her feel all the more human. The numerous battle scenes are impressive and look realistic so if you are expecting highly choreographed almost balletic action of wuxia films you may be a little disappointed. Lead actress Wei Zhao does a fine job as Mulan although how anybody thought she wasn’t a woman is hard to believe… perhaps we must accept the idea of a soldier looking ‘a bit girly’ wound be more believable than a woman soldier in ancient China! The potential romance between Mulan and Wentai does seem as though it is mostly there because the makers thought viewers would want some romance but at least it serves to give Mulan motivation to take the risks she does. Overall I really enjoyed this film and would recommend it to fans of Chinese historical dramas or those who enjoy war films set in an era before firearms.These comments are based on watching the film in Mandarin with English subtitles.

  • hr-karl-steffensen
    hr karl steffensen

    Having Just watched this film, and whilst it is still fresh in my mind I found the movie to be a refreshing change to traditional epics offered by Asian Cinema. House of flying daggers it is not, but as an interpretation of Chinese folklore that was based on a poem, it is a piece of cinematic creativity in it’s own right. The casting of Wei Zhao was a smart move. Vicki is a potentially under rated actress who displays a versatility that is often never matched by over paid Western A – listers. For the tone and content of a film that has no provable substance in fact, Vicki does an outstanding job of expressing the bland emotion and lack of compassion that would be synonymous with the era and situation with which the film is set. At it’s heart is a love story that is put aside by the burdens of war. This is so effectively displayed by the acting skill of the lead that it could be mistaken for lacking any substance at all, but with such interpretive subject matter the leads pull you in and make you share in the joy and the hurt that their lives are taking.This is essentially an amazing piece of cinema, with a talented cast and a talented director. There are many ways to while away an afternoon. Getting lost in the majesty this provides is well worth the time

  • romulus-florea
    romulus florea

    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.Read more movie reviews at: championangels.wordpress.com

  • hrvoje-klasic
    hrvoje klasic

    excerpt, full review at my location – Not to be confused with Disney’s 1998 animated blockbuster Mulan, director Jingle Ma’s 2009 epic offers a more sophisticated and nuanced retelling of the story based on a sixth century Chinese poem. Mulan: Legendary Warrior charts the early life and rise to power of Hua Mulan, a fearless heroine who disguises herself as a man and goes to war in place of her ailing father.Mulan: Legendary Warrior isn’t exactly innovative, and it doesn’t really add anything new to a story that has been told many times, but it’s an expertly crafted film that fuses war and romance genres in a highly absorbing way.

  • rui-do-goncalves
    rui do goncalves

    I first saw the Disney Mulan and thought that it would be something like that. But I met something completely different in a very positive way. There was also no gi jane trying to show the world something, mulan was just a person who grew with the duty and just did what she had to do.The film left out all the gender conflicts beside and truly presented us a pure touching story.Hua Mulan being a great general and warrior is after 12 years again a woman of her time at the end. The end of the love story is also sad but otherwise it wouldn’t be such a good film.Hollywood would surely add a kiss at the end, it was much better that there were just the right words…

  • snizhana-visochan
    snizhana visochan

    No, there are no epic war scenes or battle scenes in this film, but nonetheless it is an epic film. I read in one of the review that the story wasn’t going anyway and was dragging along. Well, yes, that is the purpose of this film, the absurdity of war and heroism, of true sacrifice and no happy ending in the Hollywood way.Mulan becomes a tactically sound commander of some Chinese army, learns the realities of politics the hard way, learns the Chinese way of sacrificing your own happiness for the greater good of the nation.It is not merely a sacrifice of your life, but a sacrifice of everything you might think will or would define yourself. There is no true glory in war, and Mulans father says so in the very beginning of the movie. Who wins? The nation, the people, not the individual.So the story doesn’t really go anyway – and still it goes everywhere, touches upon the absurdities of our quaint notions of self and of glory and of victory.When Mulan finally puts the welfare of the nation above herself and even above her family and her brothers-in-arms for the sake of the greater good, she ends up where she finally understands what her father meant, despite her fears or even because of her fears.It is a brilliant movie. I will Watch it Again, and not because of the battle scenes – they are mostly not there – but for the story that doesn’t lead you anywhere, drags you along against your will and you end up the same way of Mulan, with only a fling of hope: there is a greater good, and it is not you!

  • vera-lopes
    vera lopes

    We all know how the story of Hua Mulan follows that of other legendary folk heroes in China’s rich history, and to date there’s only a reference poem which accounted her exploits which stem out of filial piety, at a time in the Northern Wei state centuries ago when the Emperor decreed that all families must contribute to the war effort. Being a military family, the Huas have no male heir to represent their family, which automatically meant the aging father has got to volunteer himself. Rather than send her father to instant death in the battlefield, Mulan disguises herself as a male, and takes her father’s place. That’s basically the gist of the story, where she spends 12 long years at the war-front to the amazement that she was never found out, before returning to the gratitude of family and country.This also means that storytellers have almost a full reign at what could have transpired during her tour of duty, and suffice to say this will always mean that there will be elements of hardship during training, attempts or situations at putting her true identity at risk, and given the soft hearted nature of an adolescent female, affairs of the heart will come knocking. The same goes for this film, written by Zhang Ting, which adopted the romantic angle rather heavily, exploring the relationship between Mulan, and General Wentai (Chen Kun), in a love that’s quite forbidden since firstly a female cannot be serving in the army, and secondly, face it, two male soldiers, and later on, of general rank, can’t be seen behaving lovey-dovey in front of their men. Besides, being romantically involved also served to be a roadblock to Mulan’s innate war ability, or so Wentai believes that needs some way to be severed so that she can unleash that beast within.As Wei soldiers, they’re tasked to defend their country from the nomadic invading forces which seek to conquer Wei for their iron, in which to make weapons, and then to plunder some more. There’s some gigantic contrast between the troops on both sides, one sans heavy armour, while the other gets more beautifully decked out, and in some ways, better equipped. But what the film is rather all about, is its take on leadership. One can have strength in superior numbers, or to have technology on its side, but without an effective, charismatic leader, it’s as good as not being able to harness the multiplier effect that comes with the territory. Imagine having morale, trust and belief so high, that troops will rally behind you, trust your vision, and literally to lay their lives down for the cause. I suppose with any effective leader who walks the reasonable talk, should be able to attest to the respect that they command over their followers.Then there are the battle scenes, because what’s a Mulan film without one. Unfortunately though, most of the scenes were featured in some way in the trailer, so they do not come as a surprise. 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, will be sorely disappointed.Then there are some rather questionable scenes which comes out of the blue, and somehow marred the enjoyment of the film a little because of their convenience, with that little bit of vampirism which I felt was not quite necessary, and a natural phenomenon which just appears and seem to take sides, again for reasons I am not able to fathom, and speculate only for the showcasing of special effects. Disaster movie, this is not.But thankfully the performances all round provided that lift to the film, and made it bearable. Zhao Wei is no rookie to period war dramas, since she has Red Cliff to thank for in modifying her role there to become a warring princess. There are too many parallels to be drawn between her characters in Shangxiang and Mulan, such as going forth to the forefront of war to the disapproval of family, her desire to defend her country, her disguises and so on, one can still feel her Mulan here to be distinct and if I may say, quite definitive. Chen Kun also held his own against the veteran actress, although one can feel that since this is a Mulan film then he’s playing second fiddle. Supporting roles range from Jaycee Chan to Hu Jun, who seem rather functional than to add any emotional depth to the film.Mulan is just one version from a folklore open to vast interpretations, and you can bet your last dollar that this isn’t going to be the last of Mulan related stories that we’ll hear of. While it isn’t an instant classic, this version can probably still shout out to be the definitive version for now.

  • merike-laanemets
    merike laanemets

    I got quite excited when I heard of this re-adaption of the Chinese folk tale Mulan, having always loved Disney’s version for unexplainable reasons. (Not being a Disney fan in any sense).I’m very much left at a crossroads after watching the piece. Well worth giving it a go to draw your own opinions because the film is brilliant yet at the same time flawed throughout.Having the feel of many recent Romance of the Three Kingdoms historical epics that have been popping up regularly from the fantastic new generation of Chinese cinema, Hua Mulan is fast paced, uplifting and in a narrative sense very well strung together. Unlike many of its’ counterparts we don’t have the long and often drawn out political segments we found throughout the Red Cliff films (Absolute wonders in their own right).The evident flaws popping up in the casting of Hua Mulan herself and the balance between the story of a solider and that of romance wasn’t really able to find a true sense of equilibrium, I felt slightly discontented by the conclusion but Hua Mulan is not a film to disregard from the above remarks. A film well worth watching, putting a blunt and more practical spin on the story of Mulan; placing the tale within an Era of Chinese antiquity that easily rivals that of King Arthur or Julius Ceaser.

  • petrica-eftimie
    petrica eftimie

    I wasn’t really sure what to expect, when watching the movie. The only thing about the story of Mulan that i knew, was what i learned from the Disney version. But i’m pretty sure, people who watch this movie wouldn’t actually (and rightfully) expect there to be much similarity between the two.One thing that i think is important about this movie is, do not see it expecting to see things you’ve seen in “similar” movies. You might be disappointed. Because if you expect this to be anything like the classic martial arts movies, that it is most certainly not. Even Warlords, which at least to me felt quite authentic, was more exaggerated in its fighting scenes. And yes, this is also a love story, but just like the fighting and everything else, to me it seems that the people who made this movie gave a lot of thought to how much romance would be possible under the circumstances. Of course there were things that bothered me, too, but i think they were pretty much neglectible. For example i don’t know how the character of Wude (played by Vitas) actually fits into the story, he feels slightly out of place. There was one scene that also seemed strange because it was really out of nothing, i don’t see this as a spoiler because its not really of any importance to the story, but there was a sandstorm and they called it something like poison dragon. I did some research and it seems there is a legend about the region of Sanweishan that mentions sandstorms as the breath of a dragon, that seems to be a good explanation but someone who isn’t familiar with Chinese mythology as i am (and probably most westerners) wouldn’t know that and it might be confusing. Also it didn’t seem like miss Zhao didn’t put in much effort when Mulan pretended to be a man. But personally i don’t really mind, actually appreciate it in a way. I think it would have seems a little ridiculous, and this movie is by no means meant to be comedic. The viewer knows she’s pretending to be a man and that nobody notices it, there would be no point in having the actress try to talk with a deep voice or even choosing a different actress who is more masculine. That’s simply not what the movie is about.If you like, you might see this movie as biographical, maybe even historical as far as that’s possible for a legend. All in all i think this movie is absolutely worth watching if you’re not too focused on any aspect of Chinese cinema, but even then it might well be worth your time!

  • faustas-grinius
    faustas grinius

    Having just caught it not too long ago, the memories of it is still fresh in my mind. I remembered as the lights to the cinemas brightened as the credits start to roll, it felt breathtaking to had partake in this film as an audience of it.Do NOT, and i repeat, do NOT, go into this film wanting it to be one of those battle-like army type of films one generally associates with the genre of epic at its core. For if you do, you will be disappointed for this is NOT one of those films that had been over-populated due to other greats like Braveheart, Gladiator etc. Those are epic genre all to their own merits……and so is this depiction of the legend of Hua Mulan. I would still classify it as an Epic to some degree, but leaning it more towards the genre of Drama and Romance, more akin to the likes of Tau Ming Chong (aka. Warlords that was released in 2007 starring Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro).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 is a plot, and that plot is to drive the main theme of this film that is to showcase to us about how she grew into the character in legends. Whereas the subplot to it is that of her feelings. These feelings are then broken down into different categories, showcasing the main obvious emotional parts of her for the affection that she has for another. While concepts based on being a filial daughter to her father, and loyalty to the fellow troops that she commands and finally patriotism that drives her to do what she does for twelve years are all being explored, minimally but it is enough to drive her overall characterization in just under 2 hours (even though it may seemed longer than that).Having said this, there is no need for me to summarize the film for you readers as that is one of the beauties of storytelling, where it is for the viewers to partake for themselves to let the story be told to you by the story’s presentation. And definitely not by me.Overall, if one is into a movie that is emotional (depending on individual’s views upon what is regarded as emotional), and does not showcase violence for violence’s sake, then i guess one can do themselves the favor of partaking on this trip of 2 hours into another era.Again i must stress, do NOT go into this film hoping to see the likes of battlefield scenes.For me, i would classify this film like the other greats of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The House of Flying Daggers; Warlords; Musa, and the very recent Red Cliff saga. Jingle Ma’s depiction of Mulan has merits all to its own to make it stand among these others.

  • dr-karsten-hermansen
    dr karsten hermansen

    I was moved by this movie. It was a real good watch. Words escape me at the moment, but this review can say it all for me: http://yingweitan.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/movie-review-mulan-2009/ Also, the comment at the bottom of the article is very insightful.Differing from the usual route of Chinese epic movies, which usually portrays huge battle scenes, extravagant costumes, and such, this movie concentrated more on the character’s development and emotions. As such, it is a movie that deserves a closer scrutiny than the passive habit we have of watching movies. I will not give it the 2 points for the 10/10 vote because my overly romantic self was denied something (you’ll see). But then that’s just me. 🙂 I do not regret that I spent 113 minutes of my time on this. In fact, it made me all the more ready to face my own battle: life.