• Will Smith’s spirited personality has elevated the wit of the free-spirited Genie.
• The greatest risk remakes face is the unwanted comparison to the original.
Starring: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen
Release date: May 24
Hollywood’s craze of remaking childhood favourites is in full swing with its latest recreation of Aladdin. The film is a live-action remake of Disney’s 1992 animated film.
The story hasn’t changed; it’s just been retold in a modern cinematic experience using advanced technologies. And of course, with live characters.
Aladdin is a loveable crook living in the streets of Agrabah. Aladdin and his pet monkey Abu run into Jasmine at the local market. But the princess Jasmine is disguised as a handmaid as she wishes to experience life outside the palace walls.
Meanwhile, the Royal Vizier, Jafar, is up to his usual villainy shenanigans as he plots to overthrow the Sultan. He realises he needs the help of a genie, but he also knows that he is not worthy of recovering the lamp from the cave.
Jafar recruits Aladdin to retrieve the lamp for him, making Aladdin promise that he would not rub the lamp. In a twist of fate, Aladdin wipes the lamp and meets the Genie who grants him three wishes.
We all know how the story plays out. The question is how does this film fare to its predecessor? The greatest risk remakes face is the unwanted comparison to the original.
Originals are cherished by many for the memories they hold; therefore, the remakes have a high chance of falling short. And so does this film. The end result is not bad, but it's not great either. It’s just lacking; from the overly ambitious Jasmine to the juxtaposed villain Jafar.
However, Will Smith’s spirited personality has elevated the wit of the free-spirited Genie. The production made good choices to go with big screen newcomers Massoud and Scott as the leading titular characters.
However, they failed miserably with the production value as the sets look like cheap cut-outs of a stage play. This is one film that we would watch for the sake of it but come out of the theatre wishing for the good ol’ days.
Star rating: 3 stars