3 A strong effort, but with too many flaws.MovieMark | 13/07/2010 | See all MovieMark's reviews (74)Lets get this out of the way: Mulan cries a lot in this film. She cries more than she fights. I'm not sure why I'm compelled to tell you this, but there you go, I guess after the fourth, fifth cryathon, it got to me.Otherwise, this is a top-notch production, with surprising depth, and story choices at first I felt may hinder the flow of the film, but ultimately left me engaged, a rarity with these ancient war epics. There are at least three main characters you'll genuinely care for throughout, with the odd fodder-character given more than average screen time, too. I usually find it hard to relate to these kinds of films - I'm in it for the violence, mostly - but the plot never becomes too dense that these warlords show up simply as figureheads, they remain human, even the bad guys (to an extent).With all this praise being thrown about, why 3 stars? It's small things, mostly: the decision to use CGI at some very random intervals (a water pipe breaks) and use of 300-esq blood spatter does nothing to aid the battles along. Speaking of battles, the first big one is probably the best, with some amazing shots swooping over mountains as hundreds of extras duke it out. There's also nothing that new here...aside from the fact it's Mulan we're dealing with...and we're meant to believe everyone thinks she's a man.At the end of the day, this is actually one of the better war-epics I've seen, questionable CG storms, etc. aside. The acting is good, as is the score throughout, and there are enough emotional beats at the right times to keep you interested, as well as the occasional chuckle.