The Team at Disabled Dating took a break from their busy schedule this week for an *ahem* very important meeting.
Just kidding, we shot off to see the new Aladdin remake! (I mean, how many times in your life are you ever going to see a blue Will Smith?!)
But the big question; the Genie! Does Will Smith’s version live up to the classic Genie of Robin Williams’ 1992 version? Read on to find out..!
Those of us who are old enough (let’s not show our age now…) remember the delights of Disney’s Aladdin; the magical land of Agrabah, the boyish charms of Aladdin, his various high-jinks with his loyal monkey Abu, the scheming and creepily-charismatic Jafar, and of course, the wonders of Robin Williams’ Genie.
So how did Will Smith’s take on this timeless character fare against the original?
BTW! Warning, Spoiler Alert!
He gave it a try.
He really did.
But Will Smith’s Genie just didn’t quite have the same wow-factor. Charming and, at times, hilarious as he was, we just weren’t quite as swept away by the magic, as we were when we first saw Robin Williams’ Genie emerge from the lamp.
Part of the problem, we think, is that while Robin Williams was able to create his own Genie, and really place his trademark comedy style on it… Will Smith was a bit caught between the two.
On the one hand, he had to show respect to Williams’ genius. Plus, Disney-lovers all over the world would’ve cried bloody-murder if there’d been no throwbacks to William’s style and gags.
But, on the other, Smith needed to stamp some of his own mark on the character. But we feel he was never really able to get properly into it.
Just never really able to get his creative juices flowing.
What we end up with is a bit of mix-match. Caught in between the two, Smith’s genie is neither a genuine homage to the original, nor an innovative new creation.
There’s nothing trademark Robin Williams and nothing trademark Will Smith about him.
He just lacked the same magic.
But, in fairness, it was a tough act to follow! And perhaps it raises the question whether film-directors should turn to remakes of the old classics.
Especially ones so memorable as Aladdin.
But that’s a debate for another time. (It took long enough for the team at Disabled Dating to come to an agreement on this!)
Aside from that, the film did have its good parts. Naomi Scott really embellishes Princess Jasmine’s character, who was admittedly a bit wooden in the original.
Guy Ritchie did well to bring her character more focus in the storyline this time around, making her a lot of less of a “side-player” than she was in the cartoon.
Mena Massoud, in his breakthrough role, does capture the boyband charm of his character. Although Marwan Kenzari’s Jafar isn’t quite as ‘snake-like’ as the original villain.
But perhaps he just needed a bit more screen-time? His role felt a bit squeezed into the plot, and he somehow just didn’t have quite the same presence as his predecessor.
All in all, we would recommend going to see it. See it for yourselves and make your own decision! Who played it better, Smith or Williams? Leave us a comment in the section below :)
PS. If accessibility is a concern for you, you can check out this great website; http://accessiblescreeningsuk.co.uk/
Just pop in your postcode and find accessible cinemas in your local area!