The reviews are in for Guy Ritchie's live-action remake of Aladdin – and as predicted, they're a bit of a mixed bag.
Few would have put the director of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels at the helm of a remake of the beloved animated films, and perhaps for good reason.
Judging by the critical consensus, it appears that remaking the film was perhaps something of a needless exercise.
“The movie itself, while not entirely terrible - a lot of craft has been purchased, and even a little art - is pointless in a particularly aggressive way,” reckons the New York Times.
“Even with a colossal budget and the spectacular tech available to Disney, live actors can't replicate the dizzy kinetics of a cartoon,” reckons The Atlantic.
Adds Vox: “The terrible musical sequences, the lackluster CGI, and the strange creative and emotional restraint that permeates the film frequently flatten Disney's original Aladdin into a cardboard version of itself.”
The Financial Times' critic even tried to improve things himself, adding: “I got so bored I started to scribble new songs myself in the dark.”
AP was particularly brutal: “Doubts about Will Smith's casting as the Genie are overblown. It's the guy behind the camera who should be doubted. And stuffed into a small lamp forever.”
It's not all bad, of course, but the praise is generally on the faint side, and if anything, a tad surprised.
“Guy Ritchie's Aladdin reimagining is ultimately a magic carpet ride you won't mind experiencing,” reckons The Playlist.
Many have singled out Mena Massoud, who plays Aladdin, as the movie's great triumph.
Reckons Forbes: “The screenplay is a mess, but Aladdin gets by on its production values and dynamite star turns. I knew Noami Scott was the real deal, but Mena Massoud is a revelation.”
Adds Mashable: “With Massoud, Aladdin hits that sweet spot all these remakes are aiming for... If only the rest of the film had been up to his level, this could have been a new classic.”
Per The Guardian, in a four-star review: “On the whole, Ritchie’s adaptation wisely does little except add human flesh to the bare bones of what was always one of Disney’s strongest stories. That’s really all anyone wanted out of a new Aladdin: not a whole new world, just a slightly updated old one.”
Aladdin is out now.