The newest live adaptation of "Mulan" did not impress its Chinese viewers, receiving nothing but underwhelming reviews from the Sleeping Giant.
Disney went through a lot before they were able to finally release the live adaptation of the 1998 animated film "Mulan." However, it did not take off to where the studio expected it to be.
The studio relied heavily on overseas revenues, particularly in China. But according to Variety, the movie only made around $38.5 million in the said Asian country, dealing a massive impact on Disney's overall sales.
Furthermore, it garnered poor reviews and an overall rating of 4.9 out of 10 on the popular user review site, Douban. Most reviews pointed out that they were left unsatisfied due to the film being "inauthentic."
The worst part is that people are now seeing the live adaptation as the "worst 'Mulan' in history" although Disney cashed out $200 million to make it -- the priciest among all the studio's recent live-action remakes.
What Disappointed Chinese Viewers
"Mulan" lead star Liu Yifei once put the film's future on the line after she reshared a post from People's Daily reporter Fu Guohao which read, "I support the Hong Kong police. You can all attack me now."
The reporter allegedly typed the message while being tied up and attacked by protesters at the Hong Kong airport. This even led to Chinese critics starting the #BoycottMulan trend, putting the film under egative light in its target country.
While some people expected that it would affect the way Chinese viewers receive the film, politics never really caused it to flop.
As the film continues to air despite its shortcoming, moviegoers from China flooded "Mulan" with complaints -- from the lead actress itself up to its storyline.
One of the complainants pointed out that they saw Yifei "as if she was perfect" throughout the film. This reportedly prevented the actress from expressing her character the way she should have been, causing people to call it "inauthentic."
"It feels that this Mulan was born with eight-pack abs. She has no shortcomings - and even small shortcomings can be overcome immediately," Variety quoted one comment. "She's lost the complexity of the animated version of the character, who is both a cute little girl and a powerful heroine."
Another one also explained how the storyline for the live adaptation was too weak that it highlighted Mulan's hero complex without sense and logic.
In addition, the 1998 animated film is well-renowned for its martial arts sequences, but the live adaptation failed to deliver the same.
Meanwhile, Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair brought up the "Beauty and the Beast" remake to the table and compared it to the "Mulan" remake.
"The new Mulan is a sweeping action movie with lots of cool fight choreography, and yet it never musters up a sense of awe," he said.
Per Lawson, "Mulan" is not awful. However, it is a bland film with bland scenes. Other than the "Reflection" theme song, which Cristina Aguilera re-recorded, nothing seemed to be new.
No politics or crisis should be blamed for the failure of "Mulan," and they can no longer do anything to make people love it.