This Friday, you can hop on a magic carpet and fly through the air with the live action Aladdin when it hits theaters. Based on the cartoon that we all fell in love with as kids, and a bit of mixing the Broadway musical in – and we have the latest in the Disney Live Action series.
As you prepare yourself to fall in love with the story of Aladdin, Genie and Jasmine all over again – take a step back and fans – remember this isn’t your childhood cartoon anymore. Yes, there is a significant amount of shots that are almost direct copies of the animated version. The iconic lines we can all repeat over and over again are in the movie, and the songs you want to sing along with as well with just a few changes in them. There are additional music numbers as well – and one very very oddly timed musical number towards the end that just… doesn’t work.
Overall the acting is good for the film – the only complaint there would be Marwan Kenzari’s Jarfar. Not that Kenzari’s acting was bad, but the evil and foreboding character wasn’t where we wanted it to be in this portrayal. He was unhappy with his position and does play the character as such, but it seemed like he could have been a stronger foe in general. Yes, this is a kids movie but we’ve seen much worse bad guys in other films (even by Disney) that we would want to see the same care given to this character. So really, the complaint here would not be Kenzari’s depictions but how he was written for this film.
Overall, the depiction of Agrabah throughout the film may be one of the strongest elements overall. With depictions of a mash up of several Middle Eastern Cultures, the architecture, detail and outfits are absolutely amazing. However, since Agrabah isn’t specifically in one country – this allows Disney some creative license with things and allows them to add in pieces from different cultures including a Bollywood musical act.
Let’s talk about that big blue Genie in the room. As soon as it was announced that Will Smith was playing the genie you could hear basically two opinions on the casting – hate or love. I went in with on the positive side – because who doesn’t love Will Smith? He’s about the only actor I could think of that could blend the music, comedy and even physical portion of the movie. From the get go, I wasn’t in love with his portrayal of Genie, no matter how much I tried. The character seemed forced at times and more over the top than it needed to be – yes even for a magical Genie. Unfortunately my love for Will Smith couldn’t get over how awkward Genie was in so many of the scenes – and by the end of the film I was on the other side of the camp on this argument. No, there isn’t anyone that will replace Robin Williams, but who could play the role better – I honestly do not know.
While this version of Aladdin didn’t win us over, it doesn’t hold a candle to the Broadway musical or the cartoon(s) in general – we are happy to see such a diverse and beautiful cast. We’re not blaming on the cast or the acting – the actors all played their roles well and as directed. However, we had much higher expectations for the movie overall and hoped for better.
When you go to see Aladdin in theaters this weekend, after the out of place Bollywood dance number and the credits start to roll, you’re good to leave. There isn’t an after credit scene, so feel free to leave when you want!
“Aladdin” flies into theaters nationwide May 24, 2019!
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ALADDIN releases in theaters everywhere on May 24, 2019!
A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin” is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future. Directed by Guy Ritchie, who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah, “Aladdin” is written by John August and Ritchie based on Disney’s “Aladdin.” The film stars Will Smith as the Genie; Mena Massoud as Aladdin; Naomi Scott as Jasmine; Marwan Kenzari as Jafar; Navid Negahban as the Sultan; Nasim Pedrad as Dalia; Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders; and Numan Acar as Hakim.
“Aladdin” is produced by Dan Lin, p.g.a., and Jonathan Eirich, p.g.a., with Marc Platt and Kevin De La Noy serving as executive producers. Eight-time Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Oscar®-winning lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and includes two new songs written by Menken and Oscar and Tony Award®-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.