This is what happens if you take anything good about her and remove any flaws that makes the 1998 version relatable.
Flanderized Mary Sue
Media of origin:
"She's good at everything, but it isn't earned."
— Angry Joe's reaction towards the 2020 version of Hua Mulan
Hua Mulan is the titular main protagonist of the 2020 remake of Disney's Mulan. However, she was flanderized and derailed in the 2020 live-action film.
Why She Brought Dishonor to Us All
To get the elephant out of the room, she's been flanderized and derailed into a dull and overpowered Chosen One from birth. As a result, in a vein similar to other recent overpowered heroines, (mainly from Disney), she ends up as woke pandering than an actual character. For a film about a woman's obstacle in a man's world, every obstacle she takes in the film is free and easy, which consequently ends up feeling like two hours of forgettable vanilla.
One of the examples is that when Chen Honghui finds her in the lake, she says he's not her friend and he just goes away without their relationship breaking as a result. She also never struggles with what she did and doesn't have to pay the price. But then the next time they see each other, they are somehow as good as friends as before, which not only is confusing, yet it doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
In the 1998 film, Mulan was just an average woman who was brave, intelligent, and strong-willed, which made her endearing and relatable, because she is not necessarily the best. However, in the remake Mulan was apparently born with high amounts of Chi, which allowed her to be powerful from the get-go and perform Matrix-level feats during battle.
In fact, this is the second time Disney's version of Mulan was flanderized badly (the first time being in Mulan II), except here in the 2020 live-action remake, she is much worse, despite being flanderized in a rather different way from her animated counterpart.
From the start, Mulan is forbidden from using her Chi powers during battle, but ultimately decides to use said powers later on. This plot element about her being forbidden from using her powers is never brought up again afterwards.
At one point, she baits the enemies into shooting the mountain, creating an avalanche, making the villains less competent and threatening.
While Liu Yifei's performance is decent, it feels bland and stale for the most part.
Her ability to physically hold up against other opponents in the original folklore was turned up to eleven, to the point where it does not fit her character.
When she first arrived at the training camps, she treats her fellow soldiers (including Chen Honghui) very poorly, unlike the 1998 film where it was kind of the opposite. For example, when Chen Honghui finds her bathing in the lake, she says he's not her friend and he just goes away. And when one of the soldiers try to be nice to her by helping her, she threatens him by pointing a sword right at his throat.
Plot armor. Examples include;
When Mulan receives a fatal stab from a shuriken created from Xian Lang, she somehow survives the attack, despite her armor or even her silk breastplate used to disguise as a man not serving enough protection to block such an attack.
Also, there was the looming threat that Mulan will be executed if the commander found out that she's a woman. However, it wasn't represented to the point where the men spare her for no apparent reason.
The moment where Mulan's disguise saves her from being fatally wounded by a shuriken also serves as functionally contradictive with the main theme of "don't be a man, just be yourself", as the disguise she used to pose as a man apparently saved her.
Liu Yifei was decent pick for Mulan and doses a solid performance, despite coming across as mediocre.
Like Anastasia's red dress from the musical, this version of Mulan's costume looks decent.
This incarnation of Mulan still has her positive qualities from her original incarnation; brave, compassionate, clever and resourceful.
Funnily enough, none of the negative qualities that she had in the direct to DVD sequel like her ignorant selfishness are present.