Aladdin is not quite a whole new world, but it’ll do

Carla Harmon
May 22, 2019

Naomi Scott, who stars as Jasmine in the Guy Ritchie-directed film, is the focus of this "special look" promo released by Disney.

A mere two months after Tim Burton's utterly unnecessary Dumbo, Disney is back, praying that you've already forgotten about that disappointment, with its latest live-action makeover, Aladdin.

Smith also previously spoke about taking on the iconic role from Robin Williams, saying that he isn't trying to compete with his predecessor: "Whenever you're doing things that are iconic, it's always terrifying". Director Guy Ritchie and his team seem to have no idea how to stage and shoot a musical number; instead of establishing a rhythm and letting us focus on the spectacle, they crowd the screen with so much stuff that it all blurs together, and then speed up the dancing to a freakish unnatural pace.

As you'll recall, the animated version of the beloved street rat in Disney's 1992 film is shirtless, wearing only a purple vest over his chest and a pair of billowy white trousers topped with a red cummerbund.

Now, with the studio gripped in the thrall of remaking all their animated works, it was only a matter of time before they returned to one of their buzziest features. "For those who've ever wondered what the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air would be like as a middle-aged guy plopped into a bevy of belly dancers and hoofing swordsmen, here you go".

"My principal job was to entertain my five kids and my Disneyphile of a wife", said Ritchie, who is better known for action adventure movies like "Sherlock Holmes" and adult crime caper "RocknRolla".

Massoud and Scott, as Aladdin and Jasmine, are charming on their own, in spite of their characters still not being very interesting.

Scott Mendelson of Forbes called the film's script "a mess", but nevertheless turned in a positive review thanks to the strength of the acting on display, reserving his highest praise for Massoud's performance. Given a meaty subplot that directly combats the question of why Jasmine necessarily needs to marry a prince to ascend to the throne in a merely secondary capacity, Scott plays the role with the screen presence of a movie star. Also, it's like many of Disney's live-action adaptations in that it wants to be as close to the original as possible but make "changes" that are usually there to course correct "mistakes" or "hot takes" about the original.

Smith's Genie is a martini-drinking, yoga-posing, needy showoff with a top knot and an armful of popular culture references ("The crowd goes wild!" he says).

One of the most memorable parts of the OG Aladdin was that whimsical magic carpet. Aladdin, knowing that Jasmine can only marry a prince, wishes to be a prince, but learns the value of just being himself.

"'Aladdin' is hot... you are going to love it!"

Competition starts Monday 20th May and ends Friday 24th May, 2019.

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