Emily Mody - Aladdin (2019)

Posted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 02:00 PM

Aladdin (2019)

Review by Emily Mody x CalgaryMovies.com

Aladdin is a feature length American film directed by Guy Ritchie. The story follows a young man and orphan (played by Mena Massoud). Without familial ties he was forced to grow up on the streets of Agrabah where, with the help of his monkey friend Abu, he steals food to avoid going hungry. One day at the market, while trying to help a woman evade an angry merchant, Aladdin stumbles upon something far more valuable than he could have ever guessed possible. His story is further complicated when the sultan’s advisor, Jafar (played by Marwan Kenzari), captures Aladdin and forces him on a dangerous mission to seek out a magical lamp.

This live action remake of the original 1992 animated film is enjoyable and entertaining. Being an Aladdin fan, nothing can compare to the classic Disney magic that the first film epitomizes however. There were some aspects of the plot that were greatly improved though which was nice to see. The inherent sexism and misogyny is, for the large part, removed from the story. This Jasmine (played by Naomi Scott) is a far cry from the original princess and is the character that differs the most significantly with this new version. Although her character has always challenged roles and expectations, the original Jasmine had very little sense of duty to anyone beyond her father. In this new version Jasmine is endearing and her sense of duty and responsibility establishes her character as a strong female lead who is fit to rule. The live action version of animated films never seems to hold up to the original for me unfortunately. Something is lost in the lack of ridiculous spontaneity and whimsical possibilities that hand drawn animation allows.

A review of the new Aladdin also could not possibly be complete without addressing Will Smith as the new genie. No one could ever replace Robin Williams in this role but Will Smith did present a valiant effort. He is very funny, entertaining, and sincere which I feel are all the most important qualities associated with this character. The only aspect I truly struggled with is Will Smith’s singing or I should probably say, his attempt at singing. It was not good and also, I daresay, completely unnecessary. Die hard Disney fans might protest that singing is a must but I feel that Will Smith is an exceptional performer in various other ways. Thankfully, these spontaneous moments of song from him were few and far between.

I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoyed the original. I would also recommend this to anyone who enjoys Disney fairytales in general. I had many reservations before watching this film but I was definitely curious to see how this version would differ and how it would remain true to the original. Overall, Aladdin is definitely worth watching. I am happy to say that it is magical and joyful in the way that Disney films have always been.

Aladdin is one hundred and twenty-eight minutes long. It is rated PG for intense action moments which may be overwhelming for some viewers particularly young children.

Calgary Showtimes:  Aladdin >Aladdin in RealD 3D > | Aladdin: The IMAX 2D Experience > | Aladdin: An IMAX 3D Experience > 


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.