Enjoyable live action remake of the Disney classic that while doesn't quite reach hits heights, adds some fun twists to make it worth a watch. The cast is solid, with Will Smith shining (at least in his human form, while as the Blue Genie, apes Robin Williams too much), while Naomi Scott shines as Princess Jasmine. Behind the camera, Guy Ritchie makes a beautiful and fun live-action remake, with some nice twists for modern audiences (Jasmine is more assertive, wanting to be Sultan herself, while the Genie gets a love interest). However, it doesn't go quite far enough and the songs are not as memorable performed. Overall, stick with the original, but if you have Disney +, definitely worth a viewing.
3.5 of 5 stars
Summary: improves on several aspects of the original film and stands in its own right.
So I finally got around to seeing 2019's Aladdin on Disney+. I'd heard not-bad things about it, but I was still pleasantly surprised. In my opinion, this remake improves upon the original animated film in several key ways.
- Jasmine: This is the largest and best change and, in my opinion, the most necessary change as well. The original film's character of Jasmine has aged poorly - she suffers from a severe lack of agency and is one of the foremost offenders in Disney's history of sexualizing and objectifying women of color. Thankfully, these issues are gone in the 2019 film. This version of Jasmine makes important decisions that impact the plot and stands for herself. The horny side of the internet might cry in frustration that Jasmine no longer wears a bra and harem pants for most of the movie; everyone else will breath a sigh of relief that her most plot-important action no longer involved seducing a man twice her age.
- Story additions: Unlike 2019's The Lion King, which seemingly changes nothing about the story yet somehow manages to waste an additional 30 minutes of our time, the additions to Aladdin's story are easy to spot if you've seen both films. These additions, like an extended meet-cute for Aladdin and Jasmine, help flesh out the story and the relationships. The addition of the handmaid adds another female character and expands the genie's motivation and personality. And speaking of the genie, while no one can replace Robin Williams, Will Smith is an incredibly talented and charismatic performer in his own right and brings a fresh take on a beloved character.
- The visuals: while there is certainly much to lose in the transition from animation to live action, this movie demonstrates what can be gained. The city of Agrabah in particular is brimming with color, detail and life that is simply not possible in traditional animation. You can see different architectural styles blended together in different parts of the city, giving a sense of the city's long history. As someone who spent several years living in the Middle East, this detail felt authentic and was appreciated. Many aspects of the film, including casting actors of Middle Eastern descent, feel more authentic in this version.
That's not to say it's a perfect film, nor that it's better than the original in every way. While I enjoyed the way this movie gives a little more character and backstory to Jafar, the performance is less delightfully evil than the original's and, as a result, less memorable. Additionally, there were (thankfully few) moments where Smith's genie tried to imitate aspects of William's genie with less-than-perfect results. The "Prince Ali" number is the most notable instance of this.
Overall, though, the 2019 remake improves in many key ways upon the original classic, to the point that this is the version I'll be showing my kids once they're old enough to watch movies.
4.5 of 5 stars
The film is perfect!
1 of 5 stars
The whole movie felt rushed. The new scene's created for this live action didn't seem like it fitted with the original script either.
5 of 5 stars
So underrated. As with any live action remake, it's going to attract a lot of hate. The old movie holds so much nostalgia for people so they automatically want to hate this one. It's trendy to dislike live actions, but this is really, really good. Best live action ever made in my opinion. Will Smith portrays the genie perfectly, he did Robin Williams proud. It felt so magical and had great messages. Watch with an open mind and don't compare it to the first film.
2.5 of 5 stars
Just got done watching the live-action version of Aladdin and while there were parts I enjoyed overall (Will Smith did a great job as the Genie) I thought at some point the films camera shots were really bad, Also kinda a hot take if you got a hit Broadway musical to consider them while casting. Also, Jonathan Freeman should have been Jafar. Don't know if I'd watch it again, maybe watch the music part of Will Smith on youtube but I would rather watch the animated film or look for Broadway preforms filmed.
3.5 of 5 stars
It might not live up to the original 1992 animated movie, but I do approve Will Smith's performance as the Genie, he's no Robin Williams but he nailed it in his very first Disney movie, his singing takes me back to his rapping days, I also approve everyone else's portrayal except for Jafar, I don't approve the actor's portrayal.
3 of 5 stars
Aladdin wasn't bad, but it was mediocre. I think this is a remake that didn't need to be made.
2.5 of 5 stars
It may not have anything offensive, but the CGI on the Genie & most of the excitement is not there.