By Joanna Langfield

Now, this is my kind of Superhero movie. Disney’s live action remake is more than Marvel-ous, it’s a sweeping, inspirational and beautifully made film, one any family can and should enjoy.

Liu Yifei stars in the legendary role of Mulan, the young woman whose bravery and inner strength could be looked at as a problem, especially if you’re looking at it from the perspective of the ancient Han Dynasty. Women were to be seen, not heard. They were to pour tea, not take on invading armies. But, when the Huns are at the door and Mulan’s elderly father is called to serve, the girl just can’t help it. Stealing away in the dark of night, she enlists, fulfilling the family’s obligation and maybe her own. One small thing: no girls allowed. So Mulan has to pretend she’s a man.

As she did with the glorious Whale Rider, director Niki Caro brings a perfect balance of valor and humanity to this respin of the animated hit. A somewhat sober tale, Caro and her wonderful, predominantly Chinese cast makes sure to allow for a few lighter moments, too. I may never get over hearing these ancient Chinese characters speaking English throughout, but I suppose commercial heads prevailed, wary of subtitles in what is a definitively a family and internationally aimed effort. Visually, she makes this a Mulan for the global 21st Century, bringing some dandy action scenes and gorgeous special effects to please contemporary eyes, as well as sweet moments that will hit the hearts of young girls, their parents and just about anyone whose aim is to be loyal, brave and true.