Mulan is the year’s most beautiful letdown

Image: Disney

Sometimes movies, like people, have baggage. These unavoidable aspects don’t necessarily unfold on-screen, but they color the viewer’s perception regardless: production issues, expectations, historical context. Disney’s remake of Mulan, unfortunately, has more than most.

As the latest live-action remake of a beloved animated film, it has to live up to what fans love about the 1998 original while also battling the less-than-remarkable reception preceding remakes have garnered. That alone would be plenty. But Mulan is also a milestone for Asian representation in American blockbuster cinema: a big-budget film without a single white actor (although plenty of white creatives are behind the camera) and a cast stacked with Asian American and…

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