Saw it today. Very okay-ish.
While it's great that genie was reimagined to make Will Smith a better fit, I don't think he was a very good pick for the role. Mainly because his singing just isn't all that good. While he can hold a tune, it's very middle of the roadl. His acting is good, if a bit of the typecast Will Smith role. Aladdin's actor was pretty much perfect and really sells the part. Jasmine was good. Jafar strikes me as horribly rewritten and not particularly well cast. While I am glad to see that he wasn't made into another Drumpf pastiche (nothing about borders, thank god), he's even more overtly saturday-morning-cartoon-villain evil to the point I don't see why they keep him around but at the same time, lacking the greasy charisma to not get sacked. He's a little too softspoken for pretty much all his scenes which is a shame since I wanted to see more of his "KHAN" scream in the desert. I know pork is haram but you really need to ham it up a little, man. Jasmine's handmaid seemed superfluous overall. I figured she was written in because otherwise, Jasmine would spend a good chunk of time talking to a CGI tiger but I dunno, after watching, it really seems she was shoehorned in to give Will a love interest. Her performance was good though. I can't believe that Iago necessitated a big-name voice actor.
Speaking of CGI, the movie's is okay. Blue Will Smith is still very uncanny valley and there were some instances of PS3-level jank but it was adequate. I find myself wondering if I would find Genie more or less disturbing if they didn't give him nipples. Abu is iffy overall, with a few really nicely animated scenes and about an equal number that really really cause the CG to stick out. The cave of Wonders is a laughably static piece of second-rate theme park scenery.
Music is great. the score hits all the right notes. The songs are kind of a mixed bag. All of Aladdin's are wonderful. Jasmine's new song strikes me as a watered-down Let It Go and seems tacked on, especially the second time it pops up. Will Smith's songs are okay, delivered competently and the guy can hold a tune pretty well but I feel like something's missing. It's pretty much impossible to do cartoon Genie in this medium but they seem positively anemic compared to the originals. Think the tempo could stand to be a tad faster. They're all far above Beauty and the Beast's autotuned nightmares though.
Story is what you'd expect with an extra completely unneeded chase scene. If there's a part of this film that best exemplifies it, it's the A Whole New World scene. It's smaller scale, less visually appealing and competently done, but doesn't do enough to escape the shadow of the original. I don't regret seeing it but I won't be picking this over the original if I'm hankering for Aladdin.
Edited by unluckiness, 25 May 2019 - 09:58 AM.