Smith earns the respect with vivacious performance and is celebrated by an incredible fund, yet Ritchie’s distraction could only last long enough for a three minute song.
Ritchie is not using the best of it. What was highlighted in the 90s animated version, that is definitely celebrated with Disney funding the makers with a room full of money and vfx artists coloring and glittering the screen with crowd pleasing fireworks and commercial artwork. What is ignored is the goofiness of the Sultan- the father of Jasmine played by Naomi Scott- and the devilishness of the antagonist. But what aches you the most, is our host, the titled character, whose innocence should have been empathetic, yet in here, the incompetence is pitifully.. well, pitied.
Along with dull writing- except for the obvious one-liners from Genie played by Will Smith that will still chuckle you- the detailing in the physical sequence that went by in the original version is majorly in scarce here. Now, the plus points. First of all, it is and will be eventually a Guy Ritchie film. Ergo, it has got style like no other Disney live version had. From daring to add a musical number in a chase scene to a brilliantly choreographed songs; dance is a major part of it and Mena Massoud is good at it along with Smith tapping to few beats.
New songs are added up and the old ones are updated with couple of new verses, which to me was like eating glass. And yes, I should not compare it to Robin Williams, but in my defense, they sang those songs and brought it that close, and no it is not an improvement. Smith’s version is surely charming but is also anchored by a dull script. Aladdin is another passion project for Smith coming alive and he will rejoice it, the unsung ones will be the supporting actors along with the banner that chips up for a pretentious gold digging act as it fails to experiment with the art in the museum, once again.