Review in Brief: Aladdin (2019)

There’s a line of dialogue in the new ALADDIN that sums it up rather well: “Clumsy, but in a charming sort of way”. It’s very close to the animated movie, with Mena Massoud really looking and sounding the part, but this time Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) is young and smouldering and Jasmine (Naomi Scott) wants to be Sultan and comes with a song spelling that out. Most musical sequences are abbreviated except for the Genie’s two still spectacular extravaganzas “Friend Like Me” and “Prince Ali” which Will Smith handles with aplomb. A few moments of speed-ramping aside, you’d never really guess this was a Guy Ritchie movie – weirdly the personalities of the guards on the tail of Al in the original animation felt more Ritchie than anything here. Elsewhere it’s business as usual in the Disney remake game, all gloss and scale and impressive recreation but very little to make it essential viewing. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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