I finally went to see the live action Aladdin and all I can think of is how horrible the film was going to be simply by word of mouth. From what I’ve heard from reviewers and fans of the original Disney picture I walked into the theater believing I was going to watch a two-hour long soulless cash grab. However, I’m proud to say that this film was not that in the slightest.
Aladdin is a likable thief who’s day to day consists of stealing to survive. One fateful day he meets Princess Jasmine, the daughter of the sultan of Agrabah. This catches the attention of an evil sorcerer named Jafar soon targets the boy and Aladdin’s adventure begins.
The Disney Magic
Only Disney can make an adult feel like a child again from just an opening song. When “Arabian Nights” played I couldn’t help but smile. From the very beginning, you could tell this project wasn’t completely about the money there’s a certain level of quality and passion you can’t get anywhere else.
When the opening set piece is so excellent it’s hard not to be excited for the rest of the film. Other notable songs were “A Friend Like Me” And “A Whole New World”. I have to tip my hat for the Will Smith (Genie), Noami Scott (Jasmine), and Mena Massoud (Alladin) because they knocked it out of the park for the most part.
Good but Different
No one expected Will Smith’s Genie to even compare to Robin Williams. He just set the bar too high, however, I think Will Smith executed a close second. My favorite parts of the film are when the genie is in it. Just with his presence, the movie is elevated to a different level.
He’s funny, wacky, zany and just a joy to have on screen. Many times throughout the film I cracked a smile or a grin just because of something the Genie was doing.
In the original Aladdin, they made me buy that the Genie was Al’s best friend. In this live-action remake, they do the same and it does not feel forced. We’ve all seen a movie where two or more characters have a relationship that doesn’t feel earned. They may act like they’ve known each other their entire lives but they’ve done nothing in the movie to convey that.
I find that in this film Jasmine and Aladdin’s relationship seems more natural. In typical Disney fashion, the princess lead falls In love with a man soon after meeting them. While that still happens somewhat there seem to be more layers in their relationship.
The bad reputation that this film has received does not do justice to this motion picture. The score is great in true Disney fashion. Will Smith’s performance of the Genie is one of the best parts of the movie and his relationship with Aladdin feels genuine. While I believe Jafar could’ve done better I think they should’ve cast someone more menacing. Ultimately I enjoyed the film. It did not surpass the original but I would gladly go see it again.
Verdict 8 out of 10 Stars