Disney seems determined to remake all their classic animated films into live-action blockbusters – with mixed results. But if there is one story that lends itself perfectly to a real world update it’s Aladdin. Watch the trailer below.
This latest redo comes to vibrant life thanks to a combination of stunning desert vistas, eye-catching costumes, canny casting and musical set pieces that don’t disappoint.
Plot-wise, the new movie isn’t a (whole new) world away from the 1992 original – streetwise petty thief Aladdin (Mena Massoud) falls for Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott), who wants more for herself than marrying any old prince to keep her father happy.
Forced by scheming grand vizier Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) to steal a magic lamp, Aladdin summons the genie (Will Smith) trapped inside and is granted three wishes, one of which he uses to become a prince in the hopes of impressing Jasmine.
While Smith is more than up for the challenge of filling the magical role played to perfection by the late Robin Williams in the cartoon version, it is Massoud’s ability to exude both charisma and insecurity, and Scott’s self-assured independence that are the real revelations here. The latter’s Jasmine is bolstered even further by new song ‘Speechless’ – she’s no passive princess in this re-telling of the tale. (Out now) 4 stars