As a fan of the 1992 original; plus the stage musical version from the theme park, this adaptation was familiar and different enough, that it succeeds as a good companion piece to the animated classic.
One of the main highlights of this version is Mena Massoud as Aladdin. That actor is charming as heck. Well casted.
I also liked that Aladdin gets to show off parkour skills in the movie.
The other main highlight is Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. She also does justice to the character. Another role that’s well casted.
I also really liked the new song that Naomi gets to sing in this, called “Speechless.”
The chemistry between the two worked for me, which helped get me invested in their romantic plot.
Director Guy Ritchie does a great job of grounding the movie in some realism when necessary, but doesn’t shy away at all on the fact that this is a live-action cartoon and uses that to his advantage. So expect some liberties taken logically and culturally.
The story is still entertaining, and the songs are still very catchy. Now I also get to add that the dance numbers were also good to see here too.
It’s also funny at times, and I admit to laughing out loud for some of the humor. Along with the other cast members, Nasim Pedrad and Billy Magnussen were welcome to have in this movie in contributing to the comedy.
Visually, the movie is great to look at. The locations are great. The animal characters are awesome. Plus Magic Carpet is expectedly great.
Before you think I forgot to mention him, Will Smith was indeed good as the Genie. He did his own thing for the role differently enough in a nuanced way, when compared to the version that Robin Williams mastered.
As expected, the character of Genie added that extra boost of fun to the equation, and his chemistry with Aladdin is still good here.
The Jafar and Iago combo of characters; played respectively by Marwan Kenzari and Alan Tudyk, were portrayed a bit more reserved than their animated counterparts, but I thought it still worked well.
I liked that each of the main characters, shared commonalities to the overall theme of the story. The thematic message that I genuinely think is appreciatively more fleshed out here than in the ‘92 movie.
I also liked how all the main characters got a little bit more development to their background stories over their animated counterparts.
It’s too bad Genie wasn’t in the movie as much as you think he should be.
Despite Genie’s chemistry with Aladdin, there weren’t enough scenes of them together to really capitalize on that fact.
Genie’s CGI character was hit and miss, here and there…
The third act of the movie didn’t always hit the landing in concluding some of the plot threads. It even got boring a few times, which ruined the energetic pacing of the first two acts.
That third act also includes an odd scene idea for a Jasmine solo number, that I don’t think worked at all.
A few plot turns were handled clumsily as well.
Plus there were some scenes that could only be viewed as pandering to an audience, and pushes your suspension of disbelief a little too far.
Carpet makes a sand castle, and that’s just adorable.
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