By Catholic News Service
To spare her father (Tzi Ma), a partially disabled veteran, from having to serve again, the teen girl of the title (Yifei Liu) disguises herself as a young man and answers the Emperor of China’s (Jet Li) summons to take up arms against an invasion force (led by Jason Scott Lee) aided in their attacks by a shape-shifting witch (Gong Li). As she proves her valor, she also secretly falls for one of her newfound comrades (Yoson An).
Based in part on an early medieval ballad, director Niki Caro’s live action adaptation of the eponymous 1998 animated feature is sprawling and picturesque. But, although it salutes courage, solidarity and devotion to family while showcasing the conversion of one of its villains, the story is freighted with extrabiblical concepts and activities that might confuse impressionable youngsters. Probably acceptable for older teens.
Frequent stylized combat violence, nonscriptural beliefs and practices, a vengeance theme, brief partial nudity, an anatomical joke. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.