Movie Review: Aladdin Almost Achieves Amazement

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures
Movie Review: Aladdin Almost Achieves Amazement
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Dylan J. Mayberry

Dylan J. Mayberry

Dylan J. Mayberry is an aspiring actor and has a strong passion for film. He was born in Brampton Ontario and has recently moved to Oakville. He is a graduate of Acting for Film & Television from Niagara college.

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A common conception when it comes to film is that reboots and remakes are almost always a bad idea.

The Amazing Spider-man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or last month’s Dumbo to justify this. It isn’t always true, especially looking back at movies such as Bumblebee, or Spider-Man: Homecoming. Two great films that managed to revitalize their respective, dying franchises. Sadly, Aladdin is stuck in the middle.

The original 1992 animated film is considered a classic of Disney’s Silver Age of Animation. The remake has a big lamp to fill. There are genuinely good things, and people that justify a reboot. Everything else falls short of the original’s magic and imagination.

In the city of Agrabah, a petty thief named Aladdin encounters a woman. He connects with her. Upon the discovery of a magic lamp, along with the realization this girl is Agrabah’s princess Jasmine, Aladdin requests the lamp’s magical Genie to help him win her heart and that they live happily ever after.

Aladin’s biggest hurdle is the recreating the Genie portrayed by Robin Williams . Williams’ masterful voice made the Genie instantly loveable and iconic. Will Smith successfully creates his own memorable and likeable version of Genie without flat out copying. Smith’s portrayal is easily the best part of the movie. Though it does feel like some moments were thrown in specifically because they were “iconic” or “had to be”.

Naomi Scott needs special recognition for an incredible job as the Jasmine. Scott brings nuance to a character that didn’t really have it in the original animated film. Her singing voice is  incredible.

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

With its three wishes, it went for production value, but forgot to add some magic

On the topic of Iconic is the music. While there is something you get in a theatre with those big booming speakers that elicits some form of reaction and personal attachment to the songs of old, it needs to be checked.

The one song that stands above all the others is Prince Ali. It’s the most lavishly done song while simultaneously being the least Computer animated with its choreography. It’s truly spectacular to watch.

Sadly, the film’s good qualities end there. Nobody else, especially not the titular Aladdin even comes close to the raw talent displayed by Scott and Smith. There are some likeable characters, but they aren’t given too much to work with. Sadly they fall short in comparison.

The way the film is presented requires attention. It’s bad, almost terrible. An overuse of slow and fast motion feels jarring to watch. Character’s break into song with psychedelic visuals. It’s unclear exactly what is happening during those moments. There’s a lot of confusing little moments that could have used more time in the oven.

Disney fanatics will enjoy this movie. Nostalgic Nineties kids will enjoy this movie. Kids will enjoy this movie. If you do not fall into one of these categories, then you may or may not like this rendition.

Disney’s Aladdin is a very middle of the road film. It shows what could have been, and simultaneously why it shouldn’t be.


5 out of 10

PG, 2 hr 8 Mins, Adventure, Comedy, Musical.

Directed by Guy Ritchie.

Starring Will Smith, Naomi Scott, and Mena Massoud.

Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.



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