I have not been a fan of many Disney live action remakes.
To me, they have never exceeded the originals and mostly feel like cash grabs rather than like they trying to actually do something meaningful.
This looked to be the case with the new Aladdin remake where the world let out a collective, “AW, HELL NO!” after seeing Will Smith’s Genie.
However, after seeing the film, I can say that, while it is still not as good as the original and is still a cash grab, it does actually do some meaningful things.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, Aladdin 2019 adds new parts to the story that I actually enjoyed, and the musical numbers are all greatly performed.
This is especially the case when it comes to Genie and Naomi Scott’s Jasmine.
Their new storylines in this film are actually pretty good and nice changes.
Sure, Genie does look a little off-putting at times, like in the trailers, but you do get used it and he does spend a lot of time in human form.
Will Smith has nothing on Robin Williams’ portrayal of the character but he still does a good job.
Scott is also the best singer in the movie by a wide margin, giving one fantastic solo performance near the film’s end with “Speechless.”
They actually made Jasmine a better character than in the original.
Aside from them, there are other welcome additions, including a created similarity between the titular Aladdin and the villainous Jafar, which makes their dynamic more interesting.
Mena Massoud does a decent job as Alladin, however, the same sadly cannot be said for Marwan Kenzari who is not threatening as Jafar.
Along with this, even though there are many added storylines I do appreciate, there are also plenty that I do not.
For example, the climax of the film feels very toned down and less epic than it could have been, resulting in a pretty anticlimactic end.
The film also drags a few times with some of its jokes going on for way too long.
All in all, though, Aladdin is still a surprisingly good film with a few very well done features.
It may not top the original but it is still worth seeing.