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'Mulan's First Reviews Are in: Is it Worth Watching?

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Disney's new live action remake of 'Mulan' is now streaming on Disney+, for a mere $30. That's more than skeptical fans of the original animated film may be willing to pay, and many are looking to online reviews for guidance. Is it worth waiting until the streaming is free in December, or is it an absolute must-see? The first reviews are out, and it's kind of a mixed bag.

“The stars of the film are the camerawork, the battle scenes — vertiginous exercises in whirling stuntmen and twirling angles — and leading actress Liu, who matures from rawboned girl to seasoned leader as we watch," wrote critic Ty Burr, "In the end, ‘Mulan’ 2020 stands as an inspired oddity: A reenvisioned remake that improves on the original even as it owes everything to movies that have come before.”

Lindsey Bahr of the Associated Press wrote, “There is more good than bad in ‘Mulan,’ and we should be so lucky to get a gorgeous and inspiring war epic that is suitable for children to watch. ‘Mulan’ might even inspire some kids to dip their toes into all that Asian cinema has to offer, which would be the best possible outcome. But something has to give in this blind fealty to the animated films, because it’s getting in the way of greatness.”

Currently, the film sits at a 73% on RottenTomatoes, with an audience rating of 55%. Generally, it seems that those expecting a positive, musically based film are going to be disappointed: this film is more focused on a culturally relevant depiction that honors the story's origin. If you're ready for a retelling that challenges what the animated classic is built upon, then go ahead and watch. If you were hoping for a trip down nostalgia lane, maybe wait until the end of the year.