Review: The Live-Action Aladdin Is Not Only Good, It's Different

Never had a friend like Abu.

Aladdin is pretty good.

But here’s the thing, the movie isn’t exactly a live-action adaptation of the 1992 animated film, it’s a lot more inline with the Disney stage musical and that’s what makes it good.

Aladdin follows the same plot as its ‘92 counterpart. A down on his luck street kid is tasked with retrieving a magical lamp and uses it himself to summon a genie who grants him three wishes which he uses to win the love of a princess. But the movie does make some choices for the better that help deviate it from the film and the most notable is: the genie.

Had a friend like you in ’92.

Robin Williams’ animated performance as the Genie will go down in history as one of the greatest performances of all time, animated or not. It would be a fool’s errand and we’re glad to see that director Guy Ritchie and Will Smith opted to go a different way,which is a lot closer to James Monroe Iglehart’s Tony winning portrayal.

The music as a whole has also taken a step forward for the better with Naomi Scott’s Jasmine getting her own belting ballad that was absent from the animated film. The musical arrangement has also changed with a slight hip hop beat underlying Will Smith’s numbers, turning them into a subtle rap instead of a jazz number which fits with Smith’s repertoire.

Spirit/Genie fingers.

The cast turns in solid performances with Mena Massoud’s Aladdin, adding more emotional layers (but clothing layers) all for the better. And the Sultan played by Legion’s Navid Negahban giving the character a bit more gravity than his ‘92 animated counterpart.

Disney is on-track to reboot most of their animated library into live-action films and we just hope that they take the same lead as 2019’s Aladdin. Understanding what makes the original so beloved  but also changing enough to make the new film more worthwhile and developed.


Captain Marvel Review: This Is The Empowering Movie We've Been Waiting For And It Doesn't Disappoint

The Captain is in.

It’s taken the Marvel Cinematic Universe, 11 years, 20 films and countless Stan Lee cameos to get to Captain Marvel, their first female-led superhero outing. And we’re here to tell you that it was worth the wait and Captain Marvel is everything you want it to be… and so much more.


The opening moments of Captain Marvel make you realise that you’re in for something different, something unlike any Marvel film that came before it… something special. And really after everything, for those who have stuck with the MCU so far, that’s saying something.

Without spoiling anything, Captain Marvel follows Carol Danvers, a member of the Kree military team, Starforce, has to try and piece together her past and her place in the universe. And although, that might sound like a cookie cutter plot, it’s the heart, humour and confidence that writer/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck inject into it that makes it stand out.

Soarin’, flyin’, there’s not a star in heaven that she can’t reach.

We’ve known for a while that Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel was the linchpin for the MCU going into Avengers: Endgame, touted by Kevin Feige as “the most powerful character in the Marvel universe” and oh boy, does Brie Larson bring it. Larson’s performance is powerful and understated but really what more could you expect from the Oscar winner?

Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg return as a digitally de-aged Nick Fury and Phil Coulson, although Coulson is relegated to the sideline for the most part. Jackson however, looks incredible and chews up the scenes with Larson and they work really, really well.

*Insert opening like of Blur’s Song 2*

Ben Mendelsohn, Annette Bening, Jude Law and Lashana Lynch round out the admirable supporting cast, all turning in multi-faceted performances but the real MVP of the film? That is without a doubt Goose, Danvers’ cat who steals every scene he’s in and can we please give him a spin-off already?!

Formerly known as Chewbacca.

The soundtrack is up there with the Guardians of The Galaxy in its use of dynamic, energetic music that will make you hop out of your seat. Like who in their right mind would’ve thought that we would ever have one of the MCU’s best fight scenes set to No Doubt’s ‘I’m Just A Girl’?

Captain Marvel marks a step in the right direction for the future of the MCU and after 2018’s Black Panther, we’re seeing a socially aware phase of films coming out that will make you wonder why it took so long.

Shaka-can’t do this.

The film is the cinematic equivalent of a hug. Sounds weird, I know. But when you think about the pantheon of comics and characters created by Stan Lee, it makes a bit more sense. The characters that inhabit these universes are both reflections of ourselves and people we aspire to be like and Captain Marvel is no different.

It’s aspirational and it wants you to be as well, it wants you to defy all expectations and simply try to be better… not by changing anything about yourself but by understanding yourself.

Fly on.

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