I was so tempted to write this review the moment after I watched it. But I didn’t, for a couple reasons. 1.) I wanted to rewatch the original 1998 animated version (which I did). 2.) Prioritized a board game I’m developing. But I need a break from cutting up and gluing stuff together (and accidentally chipping away a part of my finger; fucking scissors, the only scissors I like at this point are when lesbians do it).
But I digress. This film wasn’t entirely what I expected. Yeah it’s got that typical bland dull boring monotonous unoriginal feminism bullshit that I was expecting. Because Mulan can’t just be a normal person (and by normal, I mean being mortal). Not like in the original animated version where she works her ass off just to be a competent soldier, and primarily relies on her wits and alternative (but effective) methods for overcoming obstacles and opponents. Fuck all that, hard work doesn’t mean shit anymore. You gotta live with what you were born with. And if you’re born with the chi (force), then you’re better than everyone else. You know, like in reality if you were born a man, then you’re physically better than all women (that’s why women ride men, and not the other way around).
In the original film, we see how she learns to compensate for her lack of physical prowess with a more efficient way of doing things that also inspire the men. Like with her pole climbing technique.
In the new film, there’s no pole climbing contest (you motherfuckers, I wanna see chicks climbing poles and dancing and stripping on them!!!!). Instead, she’s carrying buckets of water, like that guy did in The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Except she has to carry it up a mountain. And every soldier is expected to do this. And she’s the only one to accomplish this. How? What technique did she utilize to inspire her brothers in arms (someone wants to hold her in his arms… fuck, I gotta stop with these sex jokes)? Did she make some sort of strap to allow her back to carry a portion of the weight (which would’ve been cheating)? Did she take a shortcut? Fuck no, she used chi/force. How did that inspire all the men? Not in any goddamn way, except for them just admiring how awesome she is and better than them. Because when the inevitable gender reveal happens (that can cause California wildfires to spark; Communist propaganda!), this will make all the men realize the only way she has sex is in the Amazon position. She’ll use her chi to squeeze her pussy together and rip your dick off if you try any other position (got forbid you make her use her chi on her buttcheeks; I can’t help it, I’ve repressed the urge for too long).
So the moral of the 2020 story is that women can’t possibly possess the wit or intelligence (let alone strength) to outdo a man in any endeavor. They must have the chi! Because without the chi, all they have is cheese!
Oh, and the film’s female inferiority complex doesn’t stop there. It also extends to the main villain of the film. No, they didn’t make the villain into a female hun; though that would’ve been a sight to see. And don’t tell me it couldn’t be done; if Disney is going to go for the feminism bullshit, they could at least go all-out enough to somehow make it awesome.
First what they did is not make the villain a hun at all (after all, we can’t have a story talking about the necessity of walls keeping dangerous foreigners out of a country now can we?).
Second, he’s less physically intimidating; not to mention doesn’t have any short and simple badass lines like the animated guy did. In fact, his ambitions are less clear than the original villain’s. The original villain seemed to want to fight China’s armies and kill the emperor for the sake of proving how superior he and the Hun’s are to the Chinese. That they have no fear or respect for China, and are willing to tackle them head-on. Which thematically contrasts with Mulan’s less direct and more intelligent and effective approach to brute strength, which in turn serves as a lesson to there being more than strength when it comes to defeating an opponent (you must also have wit).
Third, they made his hawk out to be more of a badass than he is. He couldn’t hope to win any of the battles without the aid of his hawk. And is the hawk a female? Oh, they do one better. Not only is the hawk a female, she’s a witch who also has chi, and she can transform at will into any person or animal she wishes. And without her, he’s unable to win any battles. He’s completely reliant on her, even though he doesn’t want to admit it, and treats her like shit when he gets the chance (because of course, of coooouuuuurse, he wouldn’t be a true Disney villain in this day and age if he also wasn’t a full-blown misogynist). Because she’s the one who does all the work, using her chi-force to wipe out just about everyone inside of a fortress before the non-hun chinks roll in to finish off the leftovers.
And I know what you’re thinking. Aren’t there any men with cheese-force in this? Well, kind of. Donnie Yen’s dubbed over character shows chi potential, shows that he possesses it, and can utilize it. But fuck if I ever see him do it during a battle when it’s FUCKING NEEDED! Plus he doesn’t seem like one who can transform while using it.
And neither can Mulan for that matter (not yet; wait for the sequel, if there is one [the animated sequel does not count!]). Although to be honest, I expected Mulan to learn this transformation by the end of the film to transform into a phoenix. Or hell, have the actual phoenix (which I’m pretty sure no one else but her can see, which makes me think it’s a figment of her imagination that become permanently branded onto her brain when she started to suffer heat stroke or something, if only Hong Kong was so lucky) help her transform into one. But no, they want Mulan’s “transformation” into a phoenix to be purely metaphorical. When she “dies” by not dying and recovering from a nowhere near fatal wound (which isn’t fatal for purely bullshit reasons) and becoming the pure embodiment of modern feminism by stripping herself of her armor, making her hair as long as possible (not so long that she’ll end up tripping over it), and fighting on the battlefield without hiding her femininity.
Personally, I’m waiting for the sexist version of this movie 20 years from now when the scales are finally tipped in the other direction (what I consider balanced), and Mulan strips completely naked and starts fighting on the battlefield; and all the opponents are too distracted by her tits and her bush to fight her effectively, and all her brothers in arms aren’t helping because they’re all standing there gawking at her (like the viewer), and she virtually wipes out the entire army on her own using her good feminine looks and physique to triumph over all. And then she gives the general a blowjob because she has a crush on him like in the original animated movie. That’s a blockbuster theater reviving film waiting to happen right there.
Back to the witch bitch. So she’s the only person capable of besting Mulan in a fight, much less conquer China. And the whole point of her existence in this film, aside from making the villain out to be a pansy (and far less intimidating than in the animated film), is to teach Mulan the ways of the feminist force. She doesn’t need to hide behind the veil of masculinity armor. Masculinity is a weakness. She just needs to be a woman, because a real woman is superior to men in every way. Plus lying to others is bad (isn’t it Disney and China?). Which is why she needed to sacrifice herself to protect Mulan from an arrow shot by the main villain, despite the fact that Mulan had been dodging arrows left and right on the battlefield before she even decided to accept her chi-force and become more overpowered than she already was and GOD-FUCKING-DAMNIT THIS MOVIE IS FUCKING STUPID!!!
There’s one, and only one man who seemed somewhat capable of being a woman’s equal in this movie, and that’s the emperor himself. “Wait a moment,” you may ask. “You mean that old guy from the animated film?” Nope, I mean the new guy who has half-assed chi-force-cheese power who can do wonders with drapes.
You know, I can’t bring myself to completely hate this movie. Despite the fact that it’s an abomination compared to the original. Despite the fact that Disney made this to appeal to communist China for the sake of cash (making them the biggest hypocrites in the world considering the moral lessons of their past films; how’s that working out for you by the way fuckers?). Despite the fact that the main bitch protagonist of the film declared her support for commie police bashing what was once the democratic and free (somewhat) country of Hong Kong. Despite the fact that they filmed a part of this at a concentration camp. There are two things this film has going for it. For one, the sets and nature shots are sublime.
For another, this is easily, without a doubt, the most unintentionally hilarious Disney film I’ve ever seen in my life. I was laughing my ass off at several points throughout this film. The fucking Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon wire work, the ridiculous fight scenes, the expected feminist agenda and how they executed it. I haven’t laughed this hard since watching Lady Terminator and Super Mario Bros.: The Movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as unintentionally entertaining as those two films, but it’s definitely worthy of an MST3K style treatment.
So if you’re in the mood for something hilariously bad, and have some brownies or booze to go along with the feature, give it a watch. But for the love of all things sacred to the art of film, do not give Disney money for it. Those fuckers don’t deserve a penny for this due to their intentions on and off-screen. Maybe 10-20 years down the line when this is in the bargain bin and Disney+Hollywood is crushed under the weight of their own political agendas will it be ok to shell out cash for this (assuming cash still exists by then). Until then, just pirate the fucking thing and have a laugh with your friends, family, and neighbors, assuming the FBI doesn’t come in and bust you for pirating this or breaking the COVID lockdown mandate.