Synopsis: A kind-hearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.
Review: Having been a huge fan of the 1994 animated version, which saw the late Robin Williams put in one of the best ever vocal performances as the Genie. It was hard for me to imagine anyone being able to bring that role to life again. Thankfully the legacy of the Genie was in safe hands.
When street urchin has an unexpected encounter with Princess Jasmin in the city of Aqaba. He is blissfully unaware of the sprawling adventure he is about to have. But when he meets Jafar who leads him to a magical cave in order to steal a magical lamp. Aladdin’s world is blown wide open by a giant blue genie who shows him endless possibilities and a whole lot of love.
The story is part romance and part magical adventure and this new live-action take breathes new life into it.
Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott put in a fantastic performance as Aladdin and Princess Jasmin. Their chemistry lights up the screen from the very first moments we see them together as they run away from the sultans’ guards in the market of Aqaba. Massoud performance seems effortless.
But the best performance by far comes from Will Smith who manages to pull off just as much of a great performance as the Genie as his predecessor. Smith manages to balance out the louder and more extravagant musical numbers with the quieter and more thoughtful scenes as he tries to guide Aladdin to make the correct choices. It’s a wonderful performance, which allayed my doubts about his casting almost immediately.
Disney has given us yet another live-action interpretation of one of their animated classics, which will sit nicely with the animated version in any movie collectors collection.
Understandably, I had doubts about this one being that I so loved the 1994 original. But this live-action version does not take anything away from the animated film. If anything it adds to it. The actors all do great work and the musical performances are nicely done.
My favorite sequence in this film is when Aladdin takes Jasmin for a magic carpet ride around the city of Aqaba, which looked absolutely fantastic. Hopefully, we can get a virtual reality version of this on some sort of games machine in the future.
Overall. A really enjoyable film that will appeal to kids young and old.
You can get your own copy of Aladdin now on Amazon Video.