Will Smith unleashes his magic charm in Disney’s confident, colourful and crowd-pleasing live-action remake of its Oscar-winning 1992 animated classic. Hollywood’s once-biggest star delivers a larger than life performance as the giant Genie, burning charisma, warmth, and heartfelt maturity into the role which was originally played by comic Robin Williams. Unlike Tim Burton’s lumbering Dumbo remake, this is full of fun, excitement and glorious songs, with fresh sparkle given to the diamond tunes of Friend Like Me and A Whole New World, while Prince Ali is delivered in grand show-stopping style.
Mena Massoud is earnest and endearing as Aladdin and is game for the thankless task of playing the straight man to not just Smith and the rest of the cast, but a flying carpet and an adorable monkey, Abu. I wish his opposite number, Naomi Scott, had more to do as Princess Jasmine, but she makes the most of her screen time with constant bridling at her gilded cage existence.
She has enjoyable chemistry with Nasim Pedrad’s handmaiden and knocks her solo song out of the park. New number Speechless is an assertive anthem about challenging authority. Director Guy Ritchie is desperate for a hit and he’s certainly put a shift in with this production, successfully negotiate the demands of action, romance, comedy, special effects, and big song and dance numbers.
The twenty eight-years-old I took to the screening had a great time even though they aren’t familiar with the original or with Smith’s TV, music or movie career. He certainly won two new fans of the next generation and it’s great to see the Fresh Prince discover a whole new jam.Read More