After decades, the live action adaptation of the Disney classic is here. As a child who grew up in the 90’s, Aladdin became my favorite Disney movie as a boy. Because of this, my expectations were high and concern higher. I am happy to report that Aladdin delivers. It brings many nostalgic moments from the original and makes enough changes to feel fresh and new.
Since it’s announcement, the elephant in the room was the Genie. Will Smith was a strange choice to many and he did not disappoint. The man was faced with the impossible task of filling the shoes of the legendary Robin Williams. Smith and the director were smart and tailored the role to Smith’s personality rather than trying to recreate Robin William’s vision. Will Smith was fantastic in the role, probably one of the biggest highlights and I sincerely believe his take will be positively received by most who view the film.
The two leads Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott nailed their roles of Aladdin and Jasmine respectively. I was amazed at their singing voices, chemistry and portrayal of the beloved characters. Of all the live action remakes so far, I’d argue that these two were the best cast leads yet. As much as I loved Emma Watson as Belle, Mena Massoud was the perfect Aladdin and Naomi Scott was captivating and beautiful as the classic princess.
Aladdin was such a beautiful retelling in nearly every way which is why the villain was such a let down. Jafar was absolutely the worst part of the movie. Where Aladdin and Jasmine and even the Genie were so we’ll cast, Jafar was a terrible choice. He lacked the gravitas of the original, wasn’t scary in any way, he was unassuming and ultimately uninteresting. It was a true shame to see such a great villain be portrayed so poorly for live action. The only aspect of the villain that I liked was the backstory. It was nice to get some development of the villain despite the poor casting.
Aladdin (2019) is a great retelling of the classic tale. The lackluster villain is a detriment but ultimately the heroes bolster the story to success. The music is beautiful, cinematography equally so and heroic leads perfectly cast. Genie is an absolute delight in the hands of Will Smith and the story is revised enough to be fresh and exciting. If you have doubt about the new Disney flick, worry no more. Give this one a shot Crunchers, it’s a great time.
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