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Aladdin  (DVD)


Stars: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Nasim Pedrad, Navid Megahban, Jordan Nash, Billy Magnussen

Director: Guy Ritchie

Many years ago, Hollywood made an 'eastern' called The Prince Who Was a Thief. Here it is again, to all intents and purposes, with songs (only two of them memorable), inferior acting, a very splashy budget - the director seems intent on proving that bigger is better - some fun special effects, and the blessed bonus of Smith as a blue-skinned genie of the magic lamp.

Aladdin (Massoud), is a street thief in Agrabah (the film was shot in Jordan) with an equally thieving monkey, who encounters an incognito princess (Londoner Scott), whose dearest wish, this being a PC version, is to inherit her father's sultanate, much to the consternation of scheming vizier Jafar (Kenzari, only mildly threatening), whose snake staff can, much like Kaa in The Jungle Book, bend people to its will.

Massoud is a bland and somewhat mature Aladdin with a pleasant singing voice, while Scott is stronger, but often sings too loud, drowning her co-star in the Whole New World duet.

The songs themselves often seem intrusive, and so the film, as a musical fantasy, consequently falls between the two stools. And Aladdin's sudden self-regard towards the end, and equally sudden enlightenment, seem merely unbelievable plot contrivances.

Still, the fun does come fast and furious, and younger viewers might rate this more highly than I did.

David Quinlan

USA 2019. UK Distributor: Disney. Technicolor.
120 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 24 Sep 2019