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"Aladdin" (1992) was a hugely entertaining classic; it's dynamic and hilarious. This 2019 live-action remake is not as dynamic, hilarious, or as entertaining as the original animated classic, and it has a little less deviation than "Beauty and the Beast" from 2017. This film may have a contemporary tone, but it works as a modern Disney remake for the futuristic generation. Alan Menken did a great job with the music score here. There are a few times where Guy Ritchie's direction shines. The effects, including the production design is remarkable at best, but I can tell that Abu as an elephant is just a CGI effect that doesn't look like the real thing. As far as the acting went, the cast could've done it a lot better with more energy because they seem to be a little underplayed, But the performances overall seemed decent enough. But perhaps the only person that is below all of the others is Marwan Kenzari as Jafar; In the original animated film, Jafar is genuinely menacing with a dark sinister voice. In this live action remake however, Marwan's performance is mostly stiff and the one feature that is a dead give-away is the sound of his voice; he doesn't effectively scary and to top this off, he is not really that scary in general. They should've hired Gerard Butler to do the role. Will Smith is passable as the genie; he is portrayed as a mentor who takes things personally, giving advice, and he even made me chuckle sometimes because he is quite funny. As for the singing, he did a great job singing "Arabian Nights," but he needs more work on "Never had a friend like me," and "Prince Ali." Another problem with Will's Smith's genie is that he seems to be a bit arrogant by bragging sometimes. Alan Tudyk did a brilliant job voicing Jafar's evil sidekick, "Iago the macaw." Naomi Scott is perfectly fine as Princess Jasmin. And Mena Massoud as the title character himself, he is pretty decent. The singing of both Mena and Naomi is wonderful. My big issue with this film is that there are a few moments that are ridiculous, especially involving Dalia played by Nasim Pedrad. (No Spoilers. My reviews are mostly spoiler free). To conclude: This impressive-looking remake is not as dynamic, hilarious or even as perfect as the original animated classic from 1992. 2.5/5
29 people found this review helpful
I like this much better than the previous animated version. If you are looking for believable drama, this isn't for you, but as a fun fantasy with a positive outlook this is much more satisfying than the 1992 version. And the music and choreography are much richer here. Naomi Scott's singing is rich and nuanced and Will Smith (who you might know better as The Fresh Prince) brings "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali" to life compared to the cheesy formulaic numbers in the animation. I won't add any spoilers, but if you have a daughter you hope to inspire, this is a much better choice. I suspect that the people saying they prefer the animation are motivated by nostalgia more than anything else.
I wish that they kept princess jasmine the way she was in the original because it was true to the misogynistic times. This women are weak and dainty mentality gives the story its character because there is sadness grit pride and honor in the strength it took to be that way despite disrespectful men in their era