In theaters Friday, May 24, 2019, Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin has faced criticism worldwide. But many of the early reviews have taken a surprisingly positive turn. So, should you snag your tickets and go see it? Read on for my brutely honest Aladdin movie review.
I was invited to an advance media screening in exchange for my review. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.
Aladdin Movie Review – An honest look
I’ll just start off by saying I loved the classic animated Aladdin. I’m a 90’s girl and can remember seeing the film in theaters. I’d be the first one belting out the medley from Aladdin in every choir class from middle school to high school.
I grew up with a love for the original tale and was beyond excited when I heard they were doing a live-action Aladdin… Then my world came crashing down as they announced Will Smith as the Genie. To say I was devastated is an understatement. And my heart sank a little bit more with each teaser and trailer release.
My festering hatred My lack of enthusiasm has been humorous to my friends and family. It’s become a running joke. But I put on my big girl panties last night and took one for the team… And I will admit I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I was going to.
Is Aladdin kid friendly?
Before we jump into the nitty gritty, let’s start simple. Aladdin is rated PG and I believe that is a good designation. There wasn’t any real violence, no swearing and only a few scenes that could be deemed dark in nature.
While the dance sequences are bright and lively, I don’t think I’d run out and buy the littles tickets. Aladdin is 2 hours and 8 minutes which is slightly long for young kids. And it just doesn’t have the pizzazz to hold the attention of children under 6. I might even say kids 10 and under maybe bored at times.
Did the songs in the live-action Aladdin live up to the original?
Nope. Not even close. And I’m not what you’d call a purest when it comes to music. I enjoy remixes and remakes.
The original soundtrack is a favorite of mine. Like I said earlier, I grew up singing the songs. I was looking forward to having newer versions to listen too and unfortunately, I was rather disappointed.
I did enjoy Mena Massoud (Aladdin) and Naomi Scott’s (Jasmine) version of “A Whole New World”. Their voices blended well and it really made the moment shine.
Another hit was the new original song, “Speechless” sung by Naomi Scott. I wasn’t feeling the first part, but the song does come back towards the end and was fantastic… But it honestly didn’t fit with the film. It seemed like it was only in the film so the director could check off “girl power moment” on his must-do list. The scene just felt forced.
I wasn’t a fan of Will Smith’s rendition of “A Friend Like Me”, but “Prince Ali” surprised me, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. And while vocally Mena Massoud’s “One Jump Ahead” was good, it was also too fast.
Want to read a different take on Disney’s Aladdin? Check out Tina’s review!
Did Aladdin’s casting work?
Starring roles – Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Jasmine
Y’all they got something right. Absolutely brilliant casting. Yes, Mena Massoud is good looking, but he’s quirky, funny and downright enduring as Aladdin. He fit the bill perfectly and won my heart in an instant.
The gorgeous Naomi Scott has a set of pipes that I wish they’d showcased more. Her standout moment was the second part of “Speechless”, even if it didn’t go with the movie.
And the two of them on screen together – stunning. The chemistry was radiating off the screen and had me melting. I’m telling ya – they are the only reason to see this film in the theaters.
Will Smith as Genie
I have not held my tongue when it came to casting Will Smith to play Genie. I didn’t hold back and I was dreading the movie because of that. As much as I disagree with the casting of Genie, I have to admit that Will Smith wasn’t horrible.
But it seemed like he didn’t get comfortable in the role until halfway through the movie. His portrayal wasn’t good in the beginning and if he’d continued like that throughout the film, it would have been bad.
So, did I like Aladdin or not?
I went in with very little expectations and left the theater torn. I just don’t know if I’d consider this take on Aladdin good or not.
Watching Aladdin and Jasmine on screen was epic. Genie had is endearing moments as well. I loved the new intro to the story, but I won’t go into details as to not spoil it for anyone. The new twists and turns to the story were great.
But honestly, there was just something off about this film. It was rushed in parts, choppy in others and seriously blurry at times. It was almost like I had a few too many Aladdin inspired cocktails before heading to the theater… I didn’t but thinking back maybe I should have.
I sat there screaming in my head for someone to stop pushing the fast forward button. If they had just kept the movie the same speed in which it was filmed the live-action Aladdin would have been practically perfect. Instead, I walked out of the theater cursing Guy Ritchie for ruining what could have been an amazing movie.
Final thoughts – I wasn’t sure how honest I was going to be in this Aladdin movie review. But as harsh as it may sound, don’t waste your money seeing it in the theaters. Wait till it’s out on Blu-Ray or when it’s available for streaming on Disney+.
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