Sorry, I gave a bad review to this version of "Mulan"

Haley 2022-04-21 09:02:02

Originally, I was looking forward to Disney's live-action version of "Mulan", but after watching it, I was disappointed except for disappointment. I once wrote a short review and made some comments, but I was still uncomfortable, so I wrote this long one. I wanted to talk about my personal views on this film through the analysis of the film and the comparison with the animated version.

Please note that the following content contains spoilers, and this content is only a personal superficial opinion, I hope everyone will be merciful.

1. Time, region, makeup

"Mulan Ci" itself was created in the Northern Wei Dynasty, and the Mulan family obviously should live in the north, but the film completely ignores this background, so the Mulan family directly moved to Fujian, living in a tulou, although it can be understood that it wants to show a more distinctive Ancient Chinese architecture also makes the opening chicken chase more rounded and makes some group scenes easier to shoot, but it does affect the public's perception of the region where Mulan is located.

(Fujian Tulou and Tulou Chasing Chickens)

The Spring Festival couplets are obviously posted outside the matchmaker's house, but the Spring Festival couplets started in the Song Dynasty and became popular in the Ming Dynasty, which is obviously not in line with the times. It is obvious that the creator of this film just wanted more obvious Chinese elements, but ignored this history. fact.

(Spring couplets on the door)

And Mulan's blind date makeup looks really like Tang makeup, although it is a serious makeup look of the Southern and Northern Dynasties, but there is obviously a better way to paint, but chose the ugliest makeup method, which is completely piled up with large blocks of color , there is no beauty at all. Comparing Disney's previous "Pirates of the Caribbean: The End of the World", we can see that they have a strong stereotype of the ancient makeup of Asian women. Although they can't be as exaggerated as sarcasm, they really make people feel Very uncomfortable. At the same time, the emperor's beard also makes people play, how it looks like nose hair.

(Mulan Blind Date / Makeup in the Northern and Southern Dynasties / Japanese Pirate King Makeup in the Caribbean)

(Emperor Makeup / Chinese Pirate King Makeup in the Caribbean)

And the most unacceptable thing is that the creative team pretends that Mulan is a fictional character, so the background of the times and the region can be ignored. It really makes people want to ask, why Harry Potter If it is not made into the 1960s, and "Game of Thrones" does not have a modern architecture, "Little Women" integrates the background of World War II and moves the location to Germany. Anyway, it is all made up, so what is it really doing? Oh, this must not be the case! To put it bluntly, I still don't care, so there is such a flaw.

However, from the perspective of the overall costume design and scene design, the film is still superb, especially the use of some contrasting colors, which makes the film very full visually (although the soldiers' blue armor and blue tassel are still somewhat inconsistent. , but think about Zhang Yimou's colorful "The Great Wall", you can't blame others for using colors like this), and the design of the palace is also very grand. And if you don't discuss these issues in depth, it won't affect the viewing of the movie itself.

2. Violation of "Qi" and "Loyalty, Bravery and Truth"

The word "Qi" is mentioned all the time in the film. According to the general's lines in the plot, it should refer to "One Qi and Three Clears", which means to embrace all things in the world, but why can't women have "Qi"? Shouldn't women exist in all things?

At the same time, according to the actual content of the film, the "Qi" here should refer to martial arts. From the beginning to the end, when Mulan uses Qi, it is an ordinary Kung Fu duel, but why not just say "Kung Fu", but use "Kung Fu" gas"? To look taller on purpose? Not to mention modern people, even in ancient times, not many people would talk about such mysterious words as "qi" all day long.

(When Mulan uses gas)

And there is no explanation from the beginning to the end of the film, why women must not have "qi", and even people with "qi" are regarded as witches. Gong Li's role was also driven away because of the ability to use qi, and experienced tragic Life, thus blackening, hopes to build a world that allows women to have "qi". But the problem is, as long as anyone who has read any martial arts novels or Xianxia novels, knows that the "qi" of women in it is not something to be discriminated against, to be treated maliciously, or to pierce the sky. Even if you don't talk about martial arts and immortals, you can also learn about "The Female General of the Yang Family". Thank you. And if the witch's ability to transform into an eagle is also the use of "Qi", what does this "Qi" mean? Why do only witches do this?

(Witching Eagle)

Then there is the theme of the film, "Loyalty, Braveness and Truth". According to Chinese traditional culture, the word "true" has never appeared. Even if it is interpreted in Japanese Bushido, it is still "loyalty, bravery, righteousness, courtesy, benevolence and sincerity", which is similar to this "true" There is no relationship between half a cent, I can only say that the use of this word in the film is purely to highlight the characteristics of Mulan disguising as a man. Because it is not real enough, it cannot reach a higher level of life. It's just that this kind of composition that repeatedly writes out the questions and repeatedly explains the nouns, doesn't it really seem too superficial?

("Loyalty and Bravery" on the sword)

However, relatively speaking, the use of "truth" is still on point, and the good use of it can still make the film sublime, and it is not as inconsistent as the use of "qi". It's just a pity that the film's use of "truth" is still a little embarrassing. The main reason is that the lack of foreshadowing and precipitation of emotions has resulted in failure to highlight and amplify this theme.

3. Emotional lack of foreshadowing and precipitation

In fact, the beginning of the story is really good. It shapes Mulan's childhood and the metaphor of the phoenix, which has a lot of resonance. But as the story goes on, there is less and less of this emotional resonance. There are three reasons for this. One is that the plot is cut to pieces, and almost every scene is in a hurry, which makes the audience in many places immediately destroyed as soon as they can bring some emotions; the second is the lack of rendering, Especially the rendering of music; thirdly, the elements of comedy are missing, as well as the contrast and dramatic tension of wanting to be promoted before being suppressed.

According to the animated version, the film has four key emotional points: joining the army for the father, training in the military camp, the battle of the snow-capped mountains and the final battle, but the live-action version lacks emotional expression in these key points.

Before joining the army for her father, the animated version was a loneliness after a failed blind date. Mulan also asked here what is her true self, which also made her join the army for her father with a layer of wanting to prove and find herself. This echoes the chat with Mushulong after her identity was discovered, and finally realized the awakening of her true self. At the same time, after the conscription, the father's fall and the disputes between the two sides well demonstrated Mulan's pain and struggle, as well as her incomprehension of war, and also pointed out what ancient men and women relied on to bring glory to their families. Contrasted and sublimated with the glory that Mulan brought back later. Under the strong music, Mulan's expression in the rain can make the audience feel her determination, and then she breaks her hair and breaks out with a sense of ritual, and wakes up her family. Emotions reached their climax. On the other hand, in the live-action version, almost all the echoes that can be done in this part are abandoned. The only thing that is presented is the matchmaker's attitude towards Mulan. Mulan's emotions lack progression when she is dressed up. Taking this part apart, and putting some of the scenes before her departure into the plot behind her, ruined the mood of the audience. And the most important thing is that Mulan's female awakening is completely lacking in strength. This part will be discussed in the "Battle of Snow Mountain" below.

(In the animation, he joined the army for his father)

The training part of the animation version in the military camp itself has a vital role in Mulan's growth. On the one hand, Mulan, as a weak woman, can also become an excellent warrior through training, especially the scene of drawing the arrow, which is really true. It shows that women are not inferior to men. In terms of force and intelligence, both of them have made Mulan grow, and their emotions are very enthusiastic. In the end, it became a progressive relationship of friends who talked about everything, which made the teammates trust Mulan and had an emotional foundation. At the same time, in addition to the training in singing, the bathing part also strengthened this emotional foundation very well, and it was also lively and interesting. On the other hand, in the live-action version, Mulan is very strong, but she has been hiding herself all the time, which lacks the elements of growth. Although carrying a bucket is more in line with real training, it also lacks the kind of growth of wisdom and courage. The whole is very good The conflict with Hong Hui is inexplicable and has not been resolved at all. The two fought a fight and showed their skills, and the other soldiers immediately convinced her. It was also unreasonable, especially after Mulan's identity was revealed, she risked her death. When they came to report, a bunch of people said they believed in her, which really seemed a bit inconsistent and lacking foreshadowing. In addition, the little male protagonist Hong Hui has relatively slender eyebrows and eyes (this also conforms to the Western stereotype of Asians), and the costumes are always a bit wretched, especially in the bath scene, I really want to call the police, but the figure is quite good.

(Barracks training in animation)

When the crowd marched, the animated version divided the content into two parts. The first half was a joyous discussion of women, and the second half turned sharply and came to the battlefield where there were countless deaths and injuries. This kind of comparison fully shows the cruelty of war, and it has a certain anti-war sense. It also makes people feel that such a powerful regular army has suffered heavy casualties. Can these soldiers who have just finished training really defeat the enemy? ? The suspense and tragic color added to the subsequent plot. The subsequent battlefield also fully made people feel the heaviness of the enemy's mountains and fields. This contrast made the plot more tense, and it also made Mulan's wisdom after the avalanche triggered. At the same time, this section also gave other soldiers a lot of key scenes. Full of twists and turns, it also makes the audience relieved that the protagonists have survived in the end. On the other hand, the live-action version lacks these two comparisons, which makes it impossible to superimpose emotions. The subsequent war is more like playing, lacking a sense of heaviness, and there is no anti-war meaning, although catapults are more realistic than artillery, and The witch is given more functional fighting and spellcasting, but the usage rate of the rest of the soldiers is very low, the tension does not come out, and the overall rhythm is also chosen casually and loosely, even the avalanche that should be a climax lacks a sense of climax .

(The Battle of Junxueshan in the animation)

After the Battle of Snow Mountain, Mulan's identity was revealed. The revealing of the animated version of Mulan was passive. It was revealed after she was injured and repelled all the enemies. It formed a strong emotional contrast with the injustice towards her afterwards, which made the audience feel more can be brought in. And for the women at that time, this was more realistic, and more importantly, Mulan later realized that she was not herself in men's clothing, and she had always wanted to prove herself, not be herself, so as to achieve awakening, Emotions progress gradually. At the same time, because Mulan rescued the general Li Xiang, the interaction between the two was more appropriate in the future. Li Xiang also struggled afterward, and in the end, he would trust Mulan again. On the other hand, the awakening of the live-action version of Mulan is completely dependent on the witch's mouth. Changing back to women's clothing is awakening, there is no foreshadowing at all, and military law is not considered at all, which makes the growth of the characters seem too simple and superficial. At the same time, after the avalanche, Mulan rescued Hong Hui, but Hong Hui was in a coma at the time, and the scene between Mulan and the general was just because I admired you and planned to introduce my daughter to you, but you lied to me, So I no longer trust your embarrassing plot. In addition, I had to complain that Buzhen was just kicked out of the military camp, which made Mulan not revealing her identity and lacking a sense of crisis. After that, Mulan risked her death to report the time of the enemy's treachery. Originally, she wanted to kill Mulan's general. In the end, after the soldiers said a few words "I trust her", they did not kill, and gave the military power directly with both hands. Isn't this really funny? It’s fine if you don’t obey the military discipline. The power to fight is a bit too much. Especially in ancient China, anyone with a bit of common sense knows how important military power is, and the general has to go to the imperial city anyway, so why don’t you lead the troops directly? This kind of plot that lacks emotional basis, the logic has also become very confusing, and it has become purely wanting to flatter female characters.

(before and after the identity reveal in the animation)

Of course, the reason why Li Xiang in the original animation was changed to two people was because in the "Me too" movement, anti-boss harassing female subordinates was a politically correct choice, which is not a problem.

And in the final battle, the animated version also has obvious progress in emotion, from cutting off the rope and saving lives, to revealing that he is the soldier who caused the avalanche, attracting Shanyu, to the final lore, emotional layer by layer Up, and the emperor also goes from angry criticism to final praise, making the place full of drama. In addition, Mulan is in women's clothing in this scene, and the final weapon is the folding fan that has been strengthened in the film for women, but she can use this to defeat Shanyu, who is obviously too powerful, and other soldiers also attack in women's clothing. In addition to being funny, it is very good to blur the boundaries between women and men again, and it also highlights that women are not inferior to men, and can even surpass men. With the sound of drums, emotions and connotations can be sublimated with the plot. On the other hand, in the live-action version, there are no plots above, but there are many plots that make no sense logically (will be discussed in depth below). The rise of women who echo the theme has turned into an empty fight, and there is no urgency caused by the original disparity in strength. Feeling, combined with the conventional soundtrack, and also gave the scene of Mulan sword disappearing Xiangyuyun, which I don't know what to say, I really don't know what to say.

(The last battle in the animation)

The lack of these emotional foreshadowing and precipitation makes the film itself less moving. Although the theme is still the awakening of women, it lacks the combination of rigidity and softness, leaving only the most direct self. But in any case, the first half is still quite watchable. Although each part is like a collection of fragments under the bad editing, it is at least coherent, and it is the characters who really make the second half of the movie collapse. logic.

4. Full of inexplicable character logic

It has been mentioned above that the soldiers trust Mulan, and the generals forgive the irrationality of Mulan and the military power. At the same time, there are also Mulan characters who lack arc in their growth. It is inexplicable to say that awakening is awakening, but apart from them, others are not much better.

First of all, on the villain side, Shan Yu's design itself is very good. He has a revenge for the emperor to kill his father. In addition to aggression, the whole story has a more detailed emotional foundation, so that the bad guy is not purely bad, but his IQ is really not to be commended. One second, the plot was still discussing with witches, to create a world of equality between men and women, the next second when I had a meeting with my subordinates, I would speak ill of the witch who would turn into an eagle, and said that no matter how powerful a woman was, she was just a vassal of a man. , the next second when chatting with the witch, he admits that he was just taking advantage of her. This is really embarrassing. They say that a woman turns her face like a book. Of course, some people may say that maybe he didn't know that witches could turn into eagles, but after working together for so long, witches often turned into eagles and opened city gates, and even launched bird attacks during battles. Even a fool wouldn't know that the other party would turn into an eagle.

(Shanyu chatting with the witch / bird attack)

After that, Shanyu's move to abandon the large army was also inexplicable. Originally, when he flattened the guards directly, he could almost attack the imperial city, and he could even lead the large army directly into the imperial city from the small road, but he just left the large army behind. No, it's really hard to understand his brain circuit to take a small group of people to the imperial city. Some people may say that he intends to capture the thief first to capture the king and assassinate the emperor, but from the actual follow-up plot, what kind of assassination is he? He intends to use a small group of people to occupy the imperial city. The imperial city, this brain should not be kicked by a donkey. Moreover, the fake prime minister said that all the soldiers should gather in the square. Obviously, they wanted to ambush and destroy them in one fell swoop, but there are no siege devices or traps. And why is an imperial city so big, and there are only so many soldiers, can the crew not afford a group performance? And even if you have only watched a domestic costume drama, you can know that there must be soldiers guarding all around at all times. This kind of situation where there are no soldiers guarding the entire imperial city is really incompatible. Perhaps the production team regarded the emperor of a country as the lord of the city-state.

(All Imperial City soldiers assembled by calculation)

And after catching the emperor, Chanyu didn't kill the emperor quickly, but he still tied the emperor and released molten iron, and kept saying that he would burn him to death. Is it interesting to grind and chirp? His father wasn't burned to death. This scene has absolutely no practical significance. It feels like a deliberately designed plot to wait for someone to save him. It is said that the villain died of too much talk. Not only did he talk too much, but he also grumbled. No wonder he failed.

(the emperor is tied)

Then there is the witch. The character background setting is also very good. Because she is not understood by the world and has experienced a tragic life, she hopes to create an equal world. She also challenged Shanyu by saying that she is not a witch, but a warrior, but after learning that she is not a witch, but a warrior. After Chanyu just used her, there was no sign of resistance at all. It was a bit baffling to accept this readily. And most importantly, it doesn't matter if Mulan's female awakening is relying on her mouth cannons. She also revealed Shanyu's plan in full. Do you want her to go back to tip off? The character logic is very confusing. Of course, she probably really hoped that Mulan would go back to report the letter, so that those soldiers could recognize Mulan, and kept talking ironically to provoke Mulan, telling her not to go, it was useless to say that, and kept saying that she was going to take her away. But unfortunately, this can only be a good inference, because the film does not have any pictures to give such a hint.

(Witch fully informs the plan)

Then in the hall, Mulan made the witch rebel with a few words. He persuaded him, but it took a lot of effort to do it, whether it was fighting or lobbying. This witch's position was too uncertain. The most terrible thing is that the witch even ran up to Shanyu to taunt him again, and told him that she had attracted rescue soldiers. This is how much she hoped that Shanyu would kill Mulan. I can understand that the witch itself is a leaker, and she must say anything, and this also caused her final death. It is really wrong to say more and kill herself. But the problem is that it's not impossible for her to sacrifice to save Mulan. Why is she so good at martial arts and sorcery, but she has to use her body to shoot arrows and toss her sleeves? This witch is truly the most speechless cameo in history. In addition, the witch costume on the main hall looks really bloated.

(Mulan in the main hall snorts)

(The witch sacrifices her life to save after being taunted)

The last thing that needs to be mentioned is the emperor. It should be the director and screenwriter who think that Jet Li is also a big celebrity and needs to add drama to him, so he sent him to go out for no reason. , but the problem is that he didn't go to a good battlefield, what was going on in an inexplicable workshop, and he deliberately dismounted and walked into the ambush circle, and isn't it really funny that he ordered troops like this? The expedition of the ancient Chinese emperor must be a critical moment related to the life and death of the country, or he himself is in a time when the situation is chaotic and strife between countries, but the situation in the film is obviously not the case. The prime minister can provoke the emperor's anger with a few words. Too emotional, how did he become the lord of a country? Can the production team take dim sum? The ancient Chinese emperors are really different from the Western city-state lords!

(The emperor goes to war)

And when Mulan refused the emperor's invitation, she did not become a general. Originally, this part was already over. After that, it was not a problem for the general to send a new sword. It is conceivable that this should be the foreshadowing of the plan to make the second part. After all, there is also a second part in the animated version.

(official by the emperor)

From the above questions, it can be seen that the logic of the characters in the second half of the film is completely confusing. On the one hand, it is the difference between Chinese and Western cultures. Like the live-action version of "Maleficent", it is also because of the extension of the plot, which leads to some confusion in the plot logic, but at least there is enough emotional rendering and precipitation, and Angelina Jolie's performance is too brilliant, this is covered up those problems, and this film simply fails to do that.

Personally, I think it might be better if the second half of the plot develops like this: first, the content before and after the avalanche in the animated version is still retained, so that Shanyu secretly invades the palace more smoothly. Yu counter-killed (after all, Shanyu just used her), after the battle between the two sides, the pillars of the hall were destroyed, the palace collapsed, Mulan rescued the emperor and left, but when Shanyu was about to leave, the dying witch wrapped her sleeves and sat on the dragon chair. , In the end, both of them were crushed to death. On the one hand, this is more in line with the logic of the characters, and on the other hand, there is also a plot that pays tribute to the animated version. Why not do it.

4. Score rendering, fighting, camera language, elements and performance

In addition to the above problems, the film still has the problem of lack of climax. On the one hand, it is because there is no desire to promote first, especially the rendering of music, which is really bad. It gives people a very gentle feeling from beginning to end. The climax part is not slowed down and then rushed, or suddenly stopped in a hurry to create impact; on the other hand, because of the lack of bright spots in the fight, several fight scenes in the whole movie start quickly and end quickly, except The final group battle gave other soldiers some short shots to show their abilities, and other exciting fighting scenes were basically included in the trailer. Is it so difficult to ask a good martial arts instructor? And the most shitty thing is that Wu Ti's face actually appeared in the feature film. Even if foreigners look at Asians, they are a little face-blind, but this kind of mistake shouldn't be made.

(Comparing the faces of Liu Yifei and Wu Ti, Wu Ti's face is obviously more rounded)

In terms of lens language, this film can only be said to be quite satisfactory, and several of the more brilliant shots are basically in the trailer, but prototypes can also be found in other movies. Even if you don't need to compare with other movies, just watch the language of the animation version of the camera, when watching the father and mother farewell in the rain of Mulan, the camera moves from far to near, and slowly walks into Mulan's heart, it is also using the camera to speak, this film is not. It is completely the most common commercial video language, and it can only be said that the director's ability is really not good.

There are also two elements in the film, one is two rabbits running together, which corresponds to the "male rabbit's feet fluttering, the female rabbit's eyes blurred, and the two rabbits walking on the ground can tell whether I am male or female", but the use of The timing itself was not right, and Mulan's lines after that didn't have that artistic concept at all: "Heifeng and I rode together, two rabbits ran beside them, I thought one of them was male and the other was female. But you know, They run so fast, you can't tell who is male or female..."

(The two rabbits walk beside the ground)

Another element is the "Phoenix" of the phoenix, which replaces the animated version of Mushulong. From this element, I want to give praise to the individual, and fully use the female element. But to be honest, at the end of Mulan's decisive battle, the wings behind me still made me play a bit, and it really resembled the dragon mother! The angle and form of the picture are exactly the same! Is this a tribute, or is there only one way in the West to highlight the power of women, or is the director's ability to imitate rather than surpass it? In addition, because of the disappearance of Mushu, the comedy elements also disappeared, which is a pity in itself, and as a result, there is a lack of contrast and dramatic tension in many places.

(Mulan and Phoenix Wings / Dragon Mother and Dragon Wings)

Finally, it is natural to talk about the performance of the actors. This film can be said to have assembled a lot of Chinese actors, but unfortunately, the paragraphs showing their acting skills are either too short or unremarkable, and the characters are basically without any changes in it. This kind of plot lacks the arc of characters. , is also a major failure of the film. Even if Gong Li worked hard to change the mood of each scene, it would not be able to support the entire film. And Liu Yifei's performance in the early stage was not bad, there are still many small expressions, but in the later stage, her eyes began to become dull, especially when the witch sacrificed for her. According to the emotional logic of the characters, she should be surprised to take the flying eagle. After listening to the last words sadly, he raised his head angrily, and looked at the enemy firmly. There was emotional flow as a whole, but the actual effect was without waves, and the camera shot also lacked a sense of ritual. It seems that Disney's live-action princesses are all facial paralysis, or only have one expression, or only cheat their mothers. It has become an indisputable fact. Of course, Jasmine in Aladdin is relatively good.

(Mulan's reaction when the witch dies)

In general, although there are many ethnic Chinese in the production team of this film, it still seems that they do not know enough about China. It is more like splicing Chinese elements together, just like its stories are scattered and spliced ​​together. In the same way, the embodiment of its values ​​is completely catering to the West, rather than reshaping Chinese culture, and the director's ability is also worrying. This kind of film may be foreign and full of curiosity in the eyes of those who do not know China, but for domestic audiences, it will really be unacceptable, especially in the later stage, the logic is chaotic, the emotions are lacking, and there is no super acting support. The very general fighting, lighting, camera language, soundtrack and editing make the film very disappointing. It can be said that it is the most disappointing one of the live-action Disney princesses so far. not coming back.

In addition, judging from the special posters for different countries, the main creative team has not conducted research on China at all. This kind of aesthetics of Low wearing the center of the earth is really not the aesthetics of the Chinese public now, it really gives people the feeling of "I I just want to come here to make money, other people don't care" the ugly businessman's face.

(Poster comparison: China-Japan-Korea-US)

Thinking about how bad the epidemic in the United States is now, and the fact that they have to open Disneyland, it is indeed the case.

View more about Mulan reviews

Extended Reading
  • Amelie 2022-03-26 09:01:05

    I would like to ask where did the $200 million budget go? The first half has nothing to build, and the second half can still collapse like this, I have to wonder if there is a problem within Disney?

  • Marley 2021-11-23 08:01:14

    1.0 All-round bad, you don’t have to criticize the well-known Liu Yifei’s poor acting skills. She is really not the worst one. The director is much worse than Liu Yifei. The scheduling is simply nonsense. There are many inexplicable lens design, storyboarding, and editing. The script is used indiscriminately over the axis, and the camera is rotated indiscriminately. The script follows the usual Disney animation and changes, almost unchanged. If I can accept the logic of the plot under the pretext of showing children to the animation, then the live-action movie is still so. Hulai, I absolutely can't accept it. There are bugs everywhere, let alone the characters. In the end, I don't know where the investment in this film was spent. Is it really used for special effects? Complete web texture, game texture. I really didn’t find even the slightest advantage in this movie

Mulan quotes

  • Mulan: [from TV spot] My father cannot fight, so I will take his place.

  • Xian Lang: [to Mulan; from trailer] You will die pretending to be something you are not.

    Mulan: Yet here I stand, proof that there is a place for people like us!