Disney’s Aladdin is an absolute classic. The chit-chat about the live-action remake has been divided. It’s one of those “you’ll love it or hate it” kind of remake. I was invited to a special screening of Aladdin, and I have to be completely honest with you, I’m going on a limb with this review. But here goes…
I was not a total fan.
There. I said it. Now, before you tear me apart for not being open-minded, let me explain. I went into this with very low expectations. I expected to see a carbon-copy of the animated version, with a slightly edgier side – and I would have been okay with that. But that edgier side was, for the most part, non-existent. Which leaves me wondering, why even remake the movie in the first place? Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast were remade well, with a grown-up twist to the fairy tale everyone grew up with. Unfortunately, Aladdin does not fall into that category.
Now, don’t get me wrong. While no one could ever fill Robin William’s Genie shoes, Will Smith showed great effort to make Williams proud. By the end of the movie, I was well adjusted to Smith’s Genie and accepted his efforts. He did not try to overdo his performance, nor did he try to “one-up” the big blue genie everyone knows and loves. Mena Massoud(Aladdin) and Naomi Scott(Jasmine) were impeccable. You could tell they appreciated the roles and brought the animated characters to real life. Marwan Kenzari(Jafar) is a whole other story. Kenzari was good in his role, but he is just not as tall and ominous as I would have preferred Jafar to be. He came across as weak and insecure, which is not how I want my villain to be.
The actual story itself is pretty much line for line, except for my most favorite Genie quote ever. “Ten thousand years can give you such a crick in the neck” was disappointedly absent from Will Smith’s script. I feel that if you are going to remake a movie without many changes, one of the best quotes should not be absent! Very little is added to this movie. Jasmine, while always a princess that did not need to be saved, featured a bit more of the “politically correct” girl empowerment. I found that to be a bit disappointing, as it felt forced upon the story.
While most of this movie did not impress me, the scene where Prince Ali makes his grand entrance was “over the top” awesome. As one of my favorite parts in the original, this part was full of energy and beautiful colors. This truly was animation brought to life. And can we talk about Nasim Pedrad as Dalia, Jasmine’s handmaid? She added great humor to the movie. Even though her storyline was additional, it was seamless(and I secretly wished there was more). The visuals of Agrabah were simply stunning and very familiar if you are comparing this to the original. This movie is safe for families, as it was no scarier than the original. This remake also lacks adult language and innuendo, making it appropriate for all.
Do you have plans to see Disney’s Aladdin? After you see it, come back and tell me what you thought!