Disney have brought the remake of Aladdin to our screens. But does the remake beat the classic?

New Narrative Rating: 7/10

2019’s Aladdin is directed by Guy Ritchie. A man that directed Lock Stock and Two Barrels, Snatch, Sherlock Holmes and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. So far it seems like Disney are taking the right steps towards a great remake. But then they took what some people thought as the biggest step in the wrong direction: casting Will Smith as The Genie. When the first images of Will Smith came out in full blue genie glory many people immediately dismissed the film.

Going into the cinema I thought it would be terrible and as the first scene happened my prediction came true. Will Smith came on the screen in a boat in the middle of the ocean. Traveller Will then talked his children on the boat about the wonderful story of Aladdin. The children then asked whether he will sing. Traveller Smith immediately dismisses the idea and turns away. Then he cheesily turns back and starts belting out the intro song. Disgusting. I was thinking about chucking my popcorn at the screen and walking out the cinema. But I did want to be allowed back into the cinema at some point so I ate more popcorn and anticipated to watch 128 minutes of pure Disney trash.

But then as the story developed I was pleasantly surprised. When Will Smith appeared as The Genie the Disney magic came back in full force, with rapping, because it’s Will Smith of course you are going to make him rap. After just two scenes with the Genie I saw why Will Smith was the perfect choice. It was not just because of the massive star power he brings to films, but because his acting style perfectly fits the Genie mould.

Mena Massoud played Aladdin well and showed the character’s cheekiness and confidence. He had a stunning voice and harmonised perfectly with Naomi Scott who plays Jasmine. Naomi was not just there as eye candy. She showed the fact that even though she was not the main lead, that she can dominate a scene especially when her character becomes more confident and sure of her actions.

The big budget shined through the massive musical numbers and Guy Ritchie did a great job of showing the scale of an live-action Disney film and shows what we can expect with Lion King when it comes to the cinema. They did the classic scenes in the film justice, including the magic carpet ride. For any hardcore Disney fans this film will be a perfect blend of old-school Disney magic and a script that has a new narrative. Pun intended.


Image via IMDB