Will Smith is back! His lead act of singing, dancing and smooth-talking in the new Aladdin movie is simply entertainment at its best. Wait a minute – lead? See that’s the problem with Aladdin – Will Smith just simply overpowers the rest of the cast, and while that was kind of expected to a certain degree – keeping in mind Robin Williams’ epic performance in the animated one – a somewhat comparative dismal presence to the real leads (Aladdin, Jasmine & Jafar) really put a damper on what could have been one of the best Disney movies of recent years. It’s a bit harsh on those actors, given they have portrayed their roles as needed, but they just do not match up to the charisma of Smith. Will Smith had big shoes to fill for this one, and not once while watching did I think of Robin Williams’ portrayal. And while that doesn’t diminish Williams’ act, it certainly says a lot about the ‘Fresh Prince’s.’
The resulting movie is still very good, just ironically not gold.
The story is familiar as expected, though Guy Ritchie’s directorial & co-writing efforts are worth praising, and given that the character of Jasmine was handed a strong feminist perspective, the movie certainly has been updated. Watch it for the dancing and athletic antics of Aladdin, the bromance between the flying carpet and Aladdin’s monkey, or for the awkward yet hilarious romance between Genie and Dalia (Jasmine’s maid). There is enough humour and heart to make you wish you were there too. They seem to be having fun and so will you.
Reviewed by Joseph Rana