Review: Aladdin

Disney has gone remake happy with some of its beloved animated films. Aladdin is the latest but could it hold a candle to the original? Let’s find out.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, it revolves around a young street urchin named Aladdin (Mena Massoud) who is on his own. He falls in love with who turns out to be Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott), daughter of the Sultan of Agrabah. When Aladdin finds a magic lamp – and a Genie (Will Smith) – he is granted three wishes, which he uses to win over Jasmine’s heart. Meanwhile, the Sultan’s most trusted advisor, Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), will stop at nothing to obtain the lamp and utilize his wishes to gain absolute power. It is a tale of life, love, and being careful what you wish for.

Director Guy Ritchie takes this legendary tale and leaves it be, for the most part. There are some modern flairs to it but, beyond that, we get the traditional story that we know and love. I will say, however, that the film started off slow for me, until Smith appeared as Genie. But once that happens the film takes off like a magic carpet. Massoud and Scott are perfect as Aladdin and Princess Jasmine and, while much of social media was up in arms about Smith as Genie, he did a fine job. Was Robin Williams better? One could argue that, but that would be a semi-unfair comparison. Both Smith and Williams brought their own uniqueness to the Genie character.

Aladdin is known for its music, and this too was pretty much left alone. Massoud, Scott, and Williams all sing in the film; which was impressive considering Brad Kane and Lea Solonga provided singing parts to Aladdin and Jasmine in the 1992 version. I was also impressed by Massoud and Scott’s rendition of “A Whole New World” in the film, which sounded very similar to the original. I’m glad, because that is one of my all time favorite Disney songs.

While the 2019 version of Aladdin started off a tad slow, it picked up the pace and was entertaining. To answer the question I posed at the beginning of this review, is it as good as the original? Nothing will compare to the animated classic, in my book, but Ritchie’s iteration keeps traditions of the original while adding modern elements to prove it a formidable reboot.

My Rating: 4/5

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