Is Prince Ali still fabulous?
Last night I went and checked out Disney’s latest cash cow in theaters, Aladdin, the live action remake of the beloved 1992 animated film. I remember seeing the original in theaters back in 1992, I was 5 years old…the film is loaded with classic memorable tunes and of course a stellar performance from the late Robin Williams. People were wary if Will Smith could pull off the Genie as well as Robin did, but can the classic film survive a live action remake?
My quick review?
A Dazzling World I Always Knew, but Had a Magic Carpet Pulled From Under Me.
Yup, I was actually disappointed with this film, and that sucks cause I love the original so much! I did my best not to let that cloud my judgement, but there were times where I allowed it to and then some times that things just moved a little too quickly. Probably my biggest criticism of this film is that is focuses TOO much on ‘Look at this guy! HE’S HERE NOW!’ instead of actual character development. The biggest glaring issue to me was that I didn’t care about Aladdin or Jasmine, the movies 2 MAIN characters!
The acting chops were fine on both Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, but I think they were just given to us a little too quickly. In the original, we felt bad for Aladdin…he was a guy who just wasn’t given a fair chance at life and it played to our emotions of feeling like the outcast. In this remake, we are introduced to Aladdin off the get go and he was more of a snarky kid. Also Jasmine felt a little too quick…like POOF there she was! What about escaping from the castle? For someone who apparently can’t go anywhere, she slipped outta the castle quite easily…and that’s in the first like 7 minutes of the film! It just seemed rushed…even the part where Jafar was sending random people into the Cave of Wonders…like…WHY? The movie barely explains that, not much until later in the film, and by that point? It just seemed very waived off, something that was quite important in the film. I feel like the film banked on the audience KNOWING who the characters are, and that’s fine…but what about those who hadn’t seen it.
The best part of the film is Will Smith at the Genie…mind blowing right? Smith took the part and ran with it. He didn’t want to replicate Robin Williams, but he also paid tribute to the part while making it his own. He was funny, looked great, and just understood the part and the humor he was going for. It’s a classic case of never judge a book by it’s cover. I will nitpick one thing though….he was clearly auto-tuned during ‘Arabian Nights’…but I’ll give that a pass. Smith is known for his rapping, not his ability to hit high notes.
There are some other things in this film that kinda bugged me, but I won’t go too much into. It’s still a classic story and I didn’t HATE it…hate is a strong word for it. More just…’eh’….I’ll probably just stick with the 1992 classic when it comes to Aladdin.