Review of 'Aladdin'

aladdin.jpg Based on the stage show Aladdin this film stars Will Smith as the genie, stepping into the shoes of Robin Williams who voiced the role in the original film…

Aladdin (Mena Massoud) is a petty young thief living on the streets of Agrabah who captures the heart of Jasmine (Naomi Scott), who is really the Princess of Agrabah in disguise as another child of the street. Aladdin discovers her secret and the fact that she can only wed a prince. When Aladdin is kidnapped by the ambitious chief councillor to the sultan Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) he is taken to the enchanted Cave of Wonders where only the “Diamond in the Rough” may enter. Jafar says he will make Aladdin rich enough to impress the Princess if Aladdin will go into the cave and retrieve a lamp for him, taking care to touch nothing else. When Aladdin's money Abu is enchanted by the treasure the cave entrance closes trapping Aladdin inside. A quick swipe of the lamp reveals (surprise!) a genie (Will Smith) who grants Aladdin three wishes, the first of which is to get them out of the cave, the second wish is to impress the Princess….

What is nice here is that Will Smith does not attempt to mimic Robin Williams but still be a bit maniacal as the genie though the performance does feel a bit forced and awkward as it is beyond what we would normally expect of Smith. Massoud is amazing as Aladdin, quite convincing in his portrayal of the street urchin trying to woe the hand of the princess though I found the requisite turn towards selfishness not so convincing as he only half-heartedly reneges on his promise to the genie. In a change from the normal story Jasmine wants to be sultan with Scott ideal in the role with her amazing self-confidence shadowed only by a slightly jarring occasional reliance on Aladdin. The evil baddie is very much down-played here with the focus mainly on the goodies.

This film looks and sounds great with the familiar songs from the original animated film and stage show all here. The effects are amazing, really bringing the fantastical world to life with a slightly cartoon-ish aspect to make it seem all sparkly and bright.

A fun and enjoyable live action film adaptation of Aladdin that features some very good performances, amazing effects with only a few, slight character quibbles. Quite long at more than two hours which may lose the youngest viewers…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2023-01-15

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Year: 2019

Length: 128 minutes

Genre: Fantasy

Other reviewed films by Guy Ritchie: