Aladdin (2019): Movie Review
Aladdin. Hoo boy. What a mixed bag. Visually stunning, though the blue buff genie was weird. The story is what it always was, with a decidedly feminist twist and a scene that speaks truth to power ala the current administration. The lead actress has a good voice and she can dance, she even has a music video sequence during the film. Yeah, the film basically stopped and turned into a 90s era pop ballad video, had an almost dream sequence feel out of a telenovela. It was a weird segue.
The dancing scenes were interesting in that this was an Arab kingdom but there were significant Indian influences. Not that the two don’t cross in real life. Just odd to see an almost Bollywood-esque flavor in the dance scenes. The carpet and monkey were great, Jafar was lame, mostly because he didn’t call his parrot Iago, but rather parrot. But also because he wasn’t scary at all, as villains go, he was about as scary as Adam Driver’s character in episode 7 of Star Wars. I can’t even name that character. Aladdin was alright, his singing, left much to be desired.
Finally, we come to the Genie. I feel like Will Smith bowed to the pressure of the genie needing to be like Robin Williams eponymous version. It felt like he tried to wear a genie suit like it was the emperor ‘s new clothes. A metaphor after the movies central theme but misplaced. I missed will smith, I missed his rapping and musicality and while I admire him stepping out of the box to try to sing. Yikes. Not his strong suit. In a weird way though Disney really tried to brand this movie as a vehicle for Smith being the Genie. In effect they tried to sell us something even they didn’t believe and it came across as an unnatural fit. I’d say the worst of it was when Smith attempted to pull off the occasional flamboyance that was Williams’ signature and it came across weird and contrasted with the film in an unsettling way.
Though, I did like the nod to the ending at the opening. A nice callback for fans.