Signed up the 28/03/2017
This adaption of Aladdin is a late 2010s Disney as can get with all the flair and no real distinction in story. We've seen Disney adaptations of our favourite childhood stories come and go, and after watching this particular film I can confirm that Pixar is the only Disney division truly worth praise when it comes to silverscreen presence.
Not to say that the film is all bad, though. I mean, this is a Guy Richie film after all, he con-writes and directs, so there wasn't ever a chance that it would completely be doomed to flop. But the executive, man-in-the-suit influences are more apparent than ever, especially when you're a big fan of the 1992 film. This is a movie that was doomed to a template from the beginning, and there was evidently so much Richie and his team could do independently to bring new life and identity to the film.
Richie's writing and direction fall short of the vigour that we all know and love him for. The film relies too much on the animated version, which leaves room for comparison between the two films. And in contrast, it's a no brainer that the original film is far better, far more engaging and inspired than this adaption. And that is quite a big shame because this recent take sure is prettier to look at; from costume design, to locations and special effects, this is a big screen story without a question.
Mena Massoud (Aladdin), Naomi Scott (Princess Jasmine) and Will Smith (Genie) breathe life to a mostly, hollow, flat musical that only rides on nolstagia and genre tropes. There are a couple of cringey scenes, especially when Will Smith dawns his blue CGI, but the enjoyment comes in the fact that you can sing along to most of the songs as a nod back to the good old days when Disney movies were the vertex of genuine, heartwarming entertainment.
I wouldn't discourage anyone not to watch this film, though I wouldn't highly recommend it either. It is a film in jest; if you don't mind avoiding some dull moments, that come often in the adventure scenes and the moments where Will Smith is Will Smithing, then you're going to mostly (only) like it. The film is a definite callback to the animated one, so if you're not a fan of copy and paste with a few changes here and there, then maybe think about it for a bit.
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