Aladdin is the latest Disney classic to get the live-action treatment and it is further proof that Disney is doing something right with these remakes. This is a loud, colorful, exciting film featuring a show-stopping performance from Will Smith.
Aladdin doesn’t deviate far from the original story, as good hearted street rat Aladdin (Mena Massoud) finds a magical lamp with a wisecracking genie inside (Will Smith) who helps him win over the love and affection of Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) while also stopping the EVIL plan of the Sultan’s most trusted advisor, Jafar (Marwan Kenzari).
Aladdin is directed by Guy Ritchie, the director behind such British action flicks as Snatch, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and Sherlock Holmes. He’s an interesting choice for the film, as Ritchie films tend to lean more towards style over substance, with striking images, a lot of slow motion, and heavy editing. Luckily, Disney reined Ritchie in a little bit for this one. This is a visually stunning movie, but not because of Ritchie’s visual touch. Yes, there are some slow-motion shots that don’t fit, some scattered editing, particularly in the beginning when Aladdin is running through the streets, and some interesting camera choices, like the 360 degree camera move during Naomi Scott’s “Speechless 2” number, but those are really the only Ritchie moves in the film. Aladdin succeeds as a visual treat because of the bright colors, clean visuals, beautiful costumes, and stunning set design. The costumes and set design all deserve Oscar nominations, as they bring us to the world of Agrabah as soon as we enter. The “Prince Ali” set piece, my favorite in the film, had me in complete awe, and the iconic “A Whole New World” was done beautifully.