The live-action remake of Disney’s Aladdin may be a whole new world but still has same magic as the world from the 1992 animation. This colourful reinterpretation is the same story wise and many scenes staged the same, but also offers exciting twists on the classic songs and even some original new ones which gave extra depth to characters. I was pleasantly suprised throughout the film, but Naomi Scott as Jasmine was one of the biggest surprises for me; she did an excellent job and she made the character the real MVP. I will say that Mena Massoud was a fairly good Aladdin, however a majority of the time his dialogue was too over-the-top and just damn right cringey.
Addressing the Genie In The Room
The controversial Will Smith’s Genie is interesting, amusing and crowd pleasing from his first scene to his last. Will Smith had big shoes to fill after Robin Williams portrayal in the 1992 animation was so energetic that there was very little room to bring new life into the Genie. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the old school hip-hop added to ‘Friend Like Me’ which created a more modernised Genie with a human component and Will Smith’s natural charm which was very reminiscent of his Fresh Prince Of Bel Air days.
Much of the controversy and admittedly my doubts for the movie did come from the decision to cast Smith but the real problem I had during the movie was Men-a Massoud (Aladdin) who delivered some alarmingly dull lines that really took me out of the film. the first half of the film really felt like he stumbled straight off a theatre stage to the set of Aladdin but while he’s a weaker character in terms of dialogue, he does grow into a bubbly, likeable character as the film goes on. Another performance that was lacking was Marwan Kenzari portrayal of Jafar. Just boring. He was no where near as menacing or even as interesting as the character is supposed to be, which was disappointing.
Visually, the music numbers were extravagant, colourful and full of life. The film’s opening was a great way to make tell the audience that this is the original story you love, but 10 times more vibrant and modern with the updated version of “Arabian Nights”. All the classic songs were given trendy new twists like “Friend Like Me”, “Prince Ali” and “A Whole New World“ which was important in bringing the story back to life. The songs were incredible due to brilliant vocals by Massoud and Scott and their impressive dancing also added to the spectacle. The only downside was perhaps the tempo of some musical numbers were so slow. Fans even went to the effort of speeding up the footage of Prince Ali just a little and it proved to be way more lively when this was done.
Would You Enjoy?
Aladdin (2019) emotionally, is nothing special. There is a touching moment towards the end that really pleasantly surprised me. So it isn’t the strongest of movies or strongest Disney live action remakes for that matter, but it does do its job at being a fun, dazzling family entertainment. I had fun, and I have no doubt that you will too. Remember to stick around for the Will Smith & DJ Khaled song during the credits. Yes, you read that right.