Score: 3.5 / 5
A Whole New World!!! A Whole Ne…
This doesn’t seem new. It seems very familiar…
Disney’s live action train continues with their live action adaptation of the 90’s classic Aladdin. Like most of Disney’s live action remakes they follow the original cartoon versions pretty much beat for beat. Personally, that doesn’t bug me but there are a lot of people out there who crave new and different! I’ll let you off the hook right now, it’s not new, it’s not different. It’s the Aladdin you know, just with real people now.
Even with that information though there will be many people who want to endlessly compare then the performances versus the vocal performances of the original. The back and forth, who is better! Well let’s be upfront, very few actors are just as good singers as professional singers. There aren’t that many Jared Leto’s or Hugh Jackman’s out there. Really the point I’m trying to make is, I’m not going to do a back and forth comparison from the past to the present. This is my opinions of this movie and this movie alone.
For those who have never been to a whole new world of Aladdin the story that follows is this: a street thief with a heart of gold falls in love with a princess but the society they live in would never allow a princess to date/marry someone of his stature, so by a series of events Aladdin ends up with a magical lamp that when rubbed releases a genie that will grant the holder of the lamp three wishes! From there the story hammers home that status and money don’t hold a candle up to who someone truly is underneath. It’s who we are on the inside that matters more than what we present on the outside. It’s a very positive kids friendly lesson that even adults need to remember from time to time.
It’s a simple story, which means the movie falls on the strength of the spectacle and actors. Actors Mena Massoud (Aladdin) and Naomi Scott (Jasmine) do a solid job portraying this movie’s lovers to be. For a musical they fit in well of being just a tad over the top to sell the emotion of the scenes. As for their vocal performances Scott shines brighter than Massoud but they both sell the hits and new tunes well. Will Smith (Genie) is going to be the make or break it for this movie. If you aren’t buying what the Fresh Prince is selling then… you are not going to enjoy this movie. I did though. Will Smith is the best part of this movie. Every time he’s on screen the movie livens up and gets a whole lot more fun. Genie’s back and forth with Aladdin is easily the funniest and best moments of the movie. I miss a cheery Will Smith and this movie gave us that version of Smith in spades. At the other end Marwan Kenzari does what he can as the villain Jafar. It’s a Disney movie though so if you were expecting a villain with depth you came to the wrong place.
Outside of the acting, what about the musical performances? The action? The visuals? Again, my favorites of this movie always involved Will Smith and the Genie. It would always lead to the most fun tunes, bright colors in every direction and fun special effects. Massoud and Scott do a good cover of A Whole New World though and that’s all you could ever ask of these two from the second they signed on to the movie. The action and overall visual look of the world was also beautifully brought to screen. It makes sense now why Guy Ritchie a director of very unique action was brought on to bring this adaptation to life. You can see he re-channeled his style of action with the many musical numbers, replacing his crazy slow-mo moments of Sherlock Holmes with acrobatics and dance moves. Along with this the set design and costume design shines in this film. So many scenes are filled with bright colors and variety to give this desert kingdom a very beautiful look.
Put all these things together and you have yourself a solid Disney live action take on one of their beloved classics. Is it the best? I wouldn’t say so, but it is an entertaining movie that the whole family can enjoy between the simple plot and music for the children, to a joyful Will Smith and impressive visuals for everyone.