Like many, I spotted this over the weekend:
I understand what Disney is up to here. They’re taking popular, well known properties and squeezing even more money out of them by creating “live action” versions of them (see Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, and Dumbo for example).
To some degree, its a win-win scenario for them: The properties are already (as mentioned above) well-known so you don’t have to spend oodles of money advertising the “new” movies. You also don’t have to spend all that much money getting a new story/screenplay… you just use what you have and touch it up a little here and there and, voila, there you go.
But this one…
I just… I just don’t know. It looks ok, I suppose, but the trailer’s “punchline”, Will Smith appearing as the Genie is…
Seriously, I’m at a loss of words.
I don’t like it all that much, though I grant you seeing only a few seconds and hearing only a few words shouldn’t be enough to either love or hate a thing, but Aladdin, unlike some of the other features making the transition from animation to live action, featured a manic vocal performance by Robin Williams in the Genie role and he was likely the main reason the film was as successful as it was.
Will Smith doesn’t have nearly the same manic qualities as a Robin Williams, though he clearly has built a terrific career of his screen charisma.
I suspect I won’t see this film when its released, though this may be more related to the fact that I have difficulty finding free time to see films I want to see, much less those that I’m not as interested in seeing.
However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious to hear what people think of Mr. Smith in this role. Will the full film prove he could do something like this? Or will the end result prove to be something far less?
Time will tell.