Director: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Marwan Kenzari, Nasim Pedrad
During the first fifteen minutes of Aladdin, every single one of my cinematic synapses was firing on all cylinders. This was going to be bad. I was bracing myself for the next two hours. And then, something happened. I'm still not sure what it was. However, Aladdin turned out... good. Truth be told, the film has quite a few issues. Guy Ritchie, was both the wrong and right person to direct this thing. It's clear that he has no idea how to shoot a musical. So instead, he relies on things he watched in other musicals. Yes, even the animated Aladdin. Aladdin very much feels like a traditional musical. It all looks like something you saw in another musical, and not just the animated feature. There's also a weirdness that shows through, which actually plays in favor of Guy Ritchie. There is a charm to all of this. It is this charm, that propels Aladdin to the finish line. This is very much a crowd-pleasing film. It's easily digestible, with a few pieces of gristle in its bite. Mena Massoud, and Naomi Scott, are both solid as Aladdin and Jasmine. However, let's talk about the big, blue, elephant in the room. Will Smith is really good as the Genie. In fact, I would say he's perfect. Oh, no, not Robin Williams perfect. He's Will Smith perfect. This is his Genie. And he does his Genie well. He's funny, he can sing, he's charming, he has heart, and he's basically carrying this entire thing on his shoulders. You could feel the tension in the theater the moment Aladdin, starts rubbing that lamp. Everyone basically stiffened and waited for blue Will Smith to appear, and say something. And once he did, you could feel everyone collectively sigh in relief. Marwan Kenzari, I would say is the weak link as Jafar. It's... a different take, but I kind of dug what he did. Bottom line is, Aladdin isn't bad. It's good. It has issues, but it's really entertaining to watch. I'm actually glad the internet didn't kill this prematurely. Especially, Will Smith's Genie.