Every animated Disney film is bound to get remade at some point and Aladdin isn’t the exception. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the 2019 version of Aladdin left a lot of questions in people’s minds. Is this film necessary? Will it be a good remake? After seeing the film, I can honestly say that while this film might not have been absolutely necessary, it was a very fun time at the movies and I had my own trepidations going in.
Guy Ritchie directs a fun adventure film one that has a lot of songs, magic and entertaining action sequences. There’s a lot to like about this film and it’s isn’t also without it’s faults. There’s a few changes from the original animated film, but overall it’s stays true to the story and the spirit of the original.
My biggest fear was Will Smith as the Genie. Obviously, nobody was going to be better than Robin Williams, so it was useless to even try. And I’m not the biggest Will Smith fan in the world, but he was great as the Genie because he infused a lot of his personality into the role and made it his own. He didn’t try to imitate Robin Williams or copy him, he brought new nuances to the character and for the most part, it worked. Will Smith isn’t the greatest singer in the world but it didn’t do much to damage his performance. He also had great chemistry with the star that plays Aladdin, Mena Massoud. When they’re together on screen the movie works. They develop a great friendship that is the heart of the film.
Mena Massoud was a good Aladdin although maybe a more seasoned actor could have done better in the role. The entire movie rested on his shoulders, and while he wasn’t terrible, I can see him getting better as an actor in the upcoming years.
Naomi Scott was as wonderful as Jasmine. She gave the best performance in the entire film. Her singing was great and she nailed all her musical numbers. The “A Whole New World” sequence did not disappoint, it was beautiful and heartfelt even if it’s just like the original. The songs are all great here; it’s a soundtrack that I will probably buy eventually.
Marwan Kenzari was the weakest link of the cast. He did fine. And I don’t have a problem that he wasn’t the same Jafar from the animated version. Disney had to update it. But the actor did not sell the character for me. He was trying too hard to be menacing and it came across as a bit too forced. It could have been the direction by Guy Ritchie or the way the character was written but I’m not the biggest fan of this version of Jafar.
One of the problems I had with Beauty and the Beast was that the places in the film felt like sets. They didn’t feel real and I’ve felt that way watching Aladdin as well. The sets feel small. They don’t feel lived in or dirty. Even their clothes seem super clean; none of them feel worn out or torn and I’d imagine they would after years of living in the desert.
Despite this, I still got into the story and romance of the film. It was sweet and heartfelt and I bought Jasmine’s and Aladdin’s chemistry near the end. That’s the most important part of this film, right?
Overall, Aladdin is a fun and entertaining Disney film with fun action sequences, delightful dance numbers, decent performances good chemistry among its leads and a charming love story.