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Disney's Aladdin

Opening Date
23 May 2019
128 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Guy Ritchie
Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Marwan Kenzari, Billy Magnussen, Nasim Pedrad
A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin” is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future.
By Thompson  23 May 2019
Aladdin, Disney’s live-action remake is an amazing film for all ages, and will especially win the hearts of families.
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Aladdin, Disney’s live-action remake is an amazing film for all ages, and will especially win the hearts of families.

(Caveat: I have never watched the original 1992 classic)

Helmed by Guy Ritchie, the film doesn’t waste any time by launching into the adventurous story of Aladdin, a handsome but poor pickpocket, who comes across a magic lamp and magic carpet, summons a wish-granting blue genie, and begins a quest to win a princess’ love while stopping an evil subject from stealing the kingdom from the princess’ dad. Scale? Check. Pageantry? Check.

Mena Massoud plays the street-rat Aladdin with aplomb, although his chemistry with Naomi Scott, who plays Jasmine, feels somewhat flat. As the villain Jafar, Marwan Kenzari imbues his role with all the ambitiousness and menace expected of a right-hand man that wants to be much more. Will Smith’s Genie? I found his portrayal of the character to be quite enjoyable, though a little manic. 

If there is one phrase to describe Disney's Aladdin, it would be that the film feels like a Disney ride. The two-hour runtime moves so breezily, in part due to the spectacularly elaborate musical set pieces. Each frame here is truly a painting: vibrant colours are the order of the day. It’s hard to tell when the tangibly stylish world of Aladdin ends and where the CGI-enabled graphics begin, because of Ritchie’s tight attention to detail and bombastic sequences. Importantly, however, the film does find space to breathe with realistic, tender moments shared between the characters, especially between Aladdin and Genie.

The soundtrack is undeniably melodic, with the signature "A Whole New World" delivered in a new rendition like all the other songs. There is also a brand new song, "Speechless", sung by Naomi Scott and written by La La Land writers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. However, the standout song for me has to be the opening number, "Arabian Nights". It is a forceful, evocative piece of music set against an imposing and constantly shifting set that really sets the tone of the film. It also sounds distinctively Arabian, or at least what I imagine it should sound like. 

If, like me, you are able to watch this without comparing it to the 1992 original, you might just arrive at the same positive verdict: that Aladdin is certainly a diamond in the rough and a whole lot of fun worth staking the price of admission on.
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Trailers / Videos
Official Trailer #2
Main Trailer #2

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