Aladdin (2019) Review

Aladdin introduces us to a story we all know and love. A tale as old as time some would say. No wait, sorry, that’s Beauty and the Beast. Aladdin brings us into a brand new place filled with wonder involving the highest royalty to the lowest of peasants. Some sort of circle of life some would say. Wait… that’s The Lion King? Ok, well Aladdin introduces us to an area of mystique, involving genies, pet tigers, and magic carpets. It brings us into a whole new world! Nailed it.

Aladdin Synopsis

Aladdin opens up introducing us to the title character. A street rat who makes a living stealing and thieving his way through Agrabah. When Aladdin runs into and saves a beautiful girl in the market place he doesn’t realize he is actually talking to Princess Jasmine of Agrabah. After a few attempts to impress her, Aladdin is captured by guards and taken by the mysterious Jafar to the Cave of Wonders. His entire life will change but will it be for the better?

What I Liked

Aladdin is a film that relies solely on the relationship of the characters. The chemistry of Aladdin and Jasmine. The back and forth tennis match that is the Genie and Aladdin’s relationship. The weird, how did he get this trusted, relationship between Jafar and pretty much everyone else in the film and Aladdin nails them all.

Not only that but the performances given are amazing. Mena Massoud is extremely charismatic and a perfect fit for Aladdin. Naomi Scott is gorgeous and plays the role of Jasmine exquisitely. While her performance is great, Naomi really shines when it comes to the musical numbers. Belting out amazing note after amazing note she blows everyone else in the film out of the water with her voice.

Then there was the huge question mark going into the film. How would Will Smith be as Genie? Honestly, Will Smith plays it wonderfully. It’s a perfect blend of new flavor that Genie needs, while also still respecting and nodding to the late, great performance of Robin Williams in the original.

One of the other aspects the film nailed were most of the musical numbers. “Arabian Night” was a great intro to the movie that played along to one long single tracking shot. “Friend Like Me” was a blast. “Prince Ali” felt huge and important which is exactly the way that song should play out. They even added a couple new songs for Jasmine that not only help her character but are also just great additions to the soundtrack.

What Could Have Been Improved

This is a Guy Ritchie movie and while it definitely didn’t feel like it for the most part, there was still some of his flavor. The only issue is they didn’t work at all when thrown in. The main culprit is during the sequence of the song “One Jump Ahead.” We get some slow mo and sped up shots that just feel awkward throughout the song and don’t fit at all. Besides that, Ritchie does a great job in a film where he could have let his style take over for the worse.

One of the other problems throughout Aladdin were the visual effects. At times Genie looked great and at other times he looked like a plastic figure trying to fit in to this world. The rest of the effects over the course of the movie are great. It’s just Genie at certain points.

Finally, there are some changes to characters that some people may not like. Abu and Iago have their personalities reduced quite a bit from the original. There are also some pretty big changes to characters that, while I enjoyed, some people may not like the direction taken.

Aladdin Final Thoughts

Overall, Aladdin is a surprise hit in the world of Disney live action remakes and just may be my favorite so far. It never drags at any point and is a blast to watch from start to finish. I genuinely think fans of the original will enjoy what they have done and will be happy with performances. Some people may not enjoy these live action remakes but I say keep them coming. They are a great reintroduction to worlds we enjoyed as kids and will be brand new introductions to a whole new world for a younger generation of children.

Overall Score 4/5

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About the Author
Andy is a contributing writer on the Back Lot 605 team. Movies have always been a big part of his life but his biggest influence in his joy of movies comes from growing up around his step brother, who worked at a video store and wanted to be a director. This led to seeing a lot of dramas and John Wayne movies as a kid. Since then some of his favorite movies include Whiplash, Interstellar, Lord of the Rings, and Gladiator. There isn’t a single genre Andy doesn’t like, but he has a soft spot for Disney, romantic comedies, westerns, and dramas.
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