Anyone who has read the Reviews By The Don Facebook page knows that I am not a fan of live action versions of classic cartoons. These are cartoon classics for a reason and you just can’t equal them using actors and CGI. This is why the Dumbo remake was a huge flop. I don’t think this movie will be a flop at all, which sadly means that we will get more of these things. I tried to keep the original cartoon out of my head as I reviewed this film, and so it earns 3.5 Icees out of 5 for being mostly fun.
The movie is fun and engaging in large parts, but in other parts it is dull and predictable with a plot that’s really not much of a plot. Some of the musical numbers hit, while others are a big miss. The action is tedious but the choreography of the musical numbers is great.
The movie lists Will Smith as the top-billed, but as the Genie he doesn’t even show up for a while. When he does, it’s with a bang that only the Fresh Prince can bring. It was good to see him be a fun-loving genie. Is he Robin Williams? No, but remember… I’m trying to write this without thinking of the cartoon.
Naomi Scott (Power Rangers, The 33) has an amazing voice and did an excellent job, especially with the Speechless song. She was believable as Jasmine and probably gave the best performance of the bunch. It will be interesting to see what she does next.
Notice how I’ve went this far into the review without mentioning Aladdin himself (Mena Mossoud, Jack Ryan, The 99)? Well, that’s because he’s pretty much forgettable. He singing was okay, but his character and lines were just too predictable. Even if I had never seen the cartoon I could predict just about every thing he was going to do and most of what he would say.
Heck, the show-stealer in the movie goes to the bad-CGI monkey. The tiger was good CGI… the carpet was pretty good CGI… but Abu? Nope. He was fun and funny, but at no point did I even think he might be a real monkey.
So, is this movie fun… Yes, in spots. Is this movie great, no. However, as a kid’s Disney movie it is enjoyable enough to get 3.5 out of 5 (that’s like 7 out of 10).
There is a scene just as the credits start, but nothing after that.