WHAT'S IT ABOUT

A kindhearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true. Yes, it’s a remake of Disney’s cartoon musical about a street rat finding a magic genie-containing lamp (now with added Guy Ritchie direction and Girl Power™ song!).

What did we think

  1. Elizabeth Best May 23, 2019

    Look, I am either the very best person or the very worst person to get to review this film as the original Disney cartoon was my childhood obsession. The only way I was ever going to give this a bad review is if they completely botched it. It’s a colourful, action-filled update of the tale that keeps some iconic shots satisfyingly intact but steers away from a complete carbon copy. A few songs sound more modern than the cartoon - like they were trying to “cool” them up a bit - which I thought I wouldn’t be onboard with but as soon as the lyrics started I was humming along and getting hit right in the childhood with waves of nostalgia. Also, Jasmine has a new song about being heard as a woman and I can hear myself belting it in the car already. Sure, there will be some that will bitch that Will Smith isn’t Robin Williams, and they’re right, but Smith has his own brand of charisma that had me smiling from ear to ear most of the time he’s on screen. A joyful update of a Disney icon. 4/5

  2. Anthony Sherratt May 23, 2019

    Despite going into the Aladdin live action remake with a heavy, concerned heart, I came out tapping my toes and humming the old familiar songs. The chemistry between the two leads - Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott - is palpable and it immerses you even though we know the story so well already. Will Smith's charisma means his genie does not disappoint though his subdued singing will leave him a little short in the inevitable Robin Williams comparisons. Director Guy Ritchie does a great job with frenetic action and large-scale spectacle that more than compensate for a few missteps (a few scenes are irritatingly sped up and the CGI-based dancing is annoying) but overall this remake of a classic will entertain people of all ages and even invite a few rewatches. Good fun. 4/5

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