Despite A Noticeably Tame Guy Ritchie, ‘Aladdin’ Offers More Than Your Typical Disney Remake [Review]

The Playlist | 5/22/2019 | Griffin Schiller
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Disney‘s plan is well-known, and to many, mercenary: remake and reimagine every animated classic in the vault and, hopefully, make as close to a billion dollars as possible for each one. The beloved “Aladdin,” which featured the enchanting, adored and electric performance of the late Robin Williams, is something else, however and to many, rather sacred. Trepidation might be high for fans, but the reality is, nothing is sacrosanct to the shareholders and the mega-monopoly House of Mouse. So, the show must go on. Disney’s latest re-creation comes from director Guy Ritchie (“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “The Sherlock Holmes” series), stars Will Smith as the loveable blue genie, in lieu of the dearly-departed comic genius and one that was ridiculed the world-over, when first revealed to the globe (to be fair, Smith took it the mocking with good humor).

Fears are quickly quelled though. Alan Menken‘s illustrious and regal score is captivating and while it does take a minute to adjust to Will Smith singing, it’s hard to resist the feeling of being transported to a whole new world, the second the orchestra swells into the classic “Arabian Nights” tune. “Aladdin” is a film that’s sometimes too cartoony and broad, but also still undeniably entertaining and charming in spots.

Aladdin - Script - Aladdin - Mena - Massoud

“Aladdin” follows the script closely: Aladdin (Mena Massoud), a charming thief falls in love with Jasmine (Naomi Scott), the princess of Agrabah. In an effort to win her affection, Aladdin strikes a deal with the nefarious Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), the Grand Vizier, to retrieve a magical lamp which is home to the powerful Genie (Will Smith). After awakening the Genie, Aladdin and his new friend band together to thwart Jafar’s evil plan and marry the princess (just like the original).

Curiously though, save for a handful of slow-motion shots and the occasional kinetic whip...
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