Reviews - Aladdin (2019)

At the movies: Mena Massoud and Will Smith star in Disney's new live-action remake, Aladdin. Photo: Supplied.
At the movies: Mena Massoud and Will Smith star in Disney's new live-action remake, Aladdin. Photo: Supplied.

If Cinderella, Maleficent, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, and Dumbo taught us anything, it's that family-friendly, live-action remakes are all the rage.

Disney has now re-imagined one of its most popular entries - Aladdin.

Like with the 1992 animated classic, the titular character (played here by relative newcomer Mena Massoud) lives on the streets of Agrabah as a "street rat".

Unexpectedly, he meets the Sultan's daughter, Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). Having escaped from the royal palace, the princess hopes to learn more about Agrabah's citizens.

Affected by a lust for power, the Sultan's Grand Vizier - Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) - forces Aladdin to enter the Cave of Wonders and retrieve a magic lamp, housing the Genie (Will Smith).

Aladdin is passable, but fails to include anything of flavour or substance.

Paling in comparison to the original, this version sees director Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Man from UNCLE) butcher a key ingredient.

Whereas the original's musical numbers are joyous, the remake's are overly glossy, poorly shot/edited, and just plain boring.

Massoud and Scott shine as our good-looking, young leads, while Kenzari woefully drops the ball as the main antagonist. Devoid of menace or depth, this Jafar comes off as a whiny brat.

Attempting to move with the times, Aladdin serves up a heavy-handed feminist message.

Eager to become the next Sultan, Jasmine is a more refined character this time around. However, her new musical number, 'Speechless', is awkwardly shoved into the third act.

Credit belongs to Smith for putting a fresh spin on the Genie, whilst paying homage to the Robin Williams' version.

The superstar actor/rapper provides some enthusiasm to off-set the blandness.

Despite borrowing from the original at every turn, Ritchie and co's Aladdin lacks fun, intrigue, or magic.

The Lion King will probably make for a more tolerable experience.

Read more: