“Genie: Don’t worry. You are not out of the game yet. Just do whatever you’d normally do at a party.
Aladdin: I’ve never been to a party.
Genie: Oh, well, you gonna need to go back to the room, then. You’re not messing up my night.”
Let me start off by saying something that will probably make you run for the hills, or at least click off this review. The animated version of Aladdin was never one of my favourites. I know, gasp, shock-horror, say it ain’t so and all that. Look I didn’t like The Lion King or The Jungle Book either. I didn’t think it was a favourite until I saw someone say that it was ‘everyones beloved film’. I mean, I didn’t hate it but, there was always something missing.
We all know the story of Aladdin, don’t we? A young man (often referred to as ‘street rat’ or ‘thief’) meets a man named Jafar, a princess named Jasmine and an all powerful genie who has the ability to grant him three wishes.
The live-action made some changes from the animated version and honestly, I loved those changes.
First and foremost, Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott and Nasim Pedrad all did fantastically well in their roles. Honestly I felt that the whole cast were brilliant.
The visuals were stunning. Throughout there was an array of pinks, blues, periwinkle, gold, yellows, reds, all the colours of the rainbow and more. It was so much fun. Speaking of fun, the songs were fantastic! There were some from the original and a couple of new ones. The classics will always be favourites for some however, Jasmine’s song Speechless blew me away.
And speaking of Jasmine, was she this badass in the animated movie? Perhaps I need to re-watch but to be honest I’m more likely to re-watch this version. Jasmine’s character was brilliant for many reasons. In my opinion she was inspiring and empowering.
Something else I’ll say about this movie is that there are some very funny scenes. I remember watching this at the cinema and myself, the friends I went with and virtually the entire screening was filled with laughter.
I know Will Smith as the genie was a sore spot for some. No-one could replace Robin Williams and I respect that. However, Will Smith didn’t imitate Robin Williams. He made the character his own and I can respect that too.
There was also a nod to Robin Williams genie, which I thought was brilliantly done.
In regards to Jafar, I think the actor did really well however, I can’t say I ever felt he was a huge threat. He was powerful and threatening, but something was missing. Perhaps it’s because it’s a live-action re-telling and so you have some idea what will happen, but perhaps not. For me he was a somewhat one-dimensional bad guy. Personally, I would have liked to know more about his motives and backstory.
Mena Massoud was fantastic. For me he was totally convincing as Aladdin. Cheeky, kind-hearted, confident but not arrogant, he was brilliant to watch.
Overall if it was a fun, feel-good movie with an excellent cast, fun music to sing along to and bursting with laughs and colours.
What I’m trying to say is, I loved it and if by chance you haven’t seen it yet I recommend that you do.