Saturday, April 10, 2021

Aladdin (1986)

Al Haddin is a teen boy living in sunny Miami, living out a pretty disappointing life, until one day he comes across a magical lamp. Inside is a stoic friendly genie, who = to grant all of Al's wishes, from giving him a fancy new car, to helping his beleaguered mother. As they have fun and get to know each-other, = become aware of a ruthless protection racket, and =...

Aladdin is your typical story of a modern day kid finding a genie in a magic lamp-A tried and true formula. What's special about this 1986 entry, you ask? Well it stars none other than Italian = Bud Spencer!

This is a highly enjoyable movie! A brisk watch, it does all the expected tropes and traditions for a genie movie, like the kid using his newfound power to make him strong against his bullies, become a top sportsman, [win the heart of his next door neighbour], etc, all with a fresh enthusiasm. There's always something going on, and the story is just [serious] enough without ever going to far either way, like becoming too serious/taking itself too seriously or becoming a farce.

The action in the movie is fairly low, but there is enough, especially considering this isn't an action film first and foremost. 

The only section of the movie I found a bit weird was the whole kidnap plot. It felt like it'd be a pretty major plotline in any other movie, but here it's almost an afterthought. It comes out of nowhere, and disappears just as quickly. It's fun, and manages to handle the subject matter in a goofy and inoffensive way, but it is a bit =. This is only a minor point though, and hardly a major complaint.

The characters are all likeable. Al is a good lead, just your typical kid. The genie is the perfect mix of = but friendly, never coming across as bored or distant.

Something I found interesting about his character was that he doesn't actually seem constrained by  wishes, but instead does it by choice.    This is evident in the climax, where Al [rashly] wishes for the enemy choppers to crash, and the Genie's just like "Are you sure?", giving Al enough time to backtrack and ask for a less dangerous wish.

The villains aren't the biggest of threats, but are fun to watch. The gangster is your typical =, while the corrupt mayor proves himself to be a would-be dictator, if only he'd get the powers of a genie to back him up.

The ending is satisfying in just about every way, and is a happy conclusion. Although I can't help but wonder why =  since they could just wish away the bad guys into having amnesia or something.

And in a sincere way too. It doesn't feel hollow or overblown.

The music in Aladdin is a fun 80s   It has a nightclub feel to it, if that makes any sense. It's all very glitzy and enjoyable. It really reminded me of the music in the Shantae the Genie adventure games, which makes me wonder if the creative team behind that series were fans of this. If so, then I can't help but be proud his fun little Italian flick has such a legacy.

The effects here are pretty good. The rear projection during the floating car and magic carpet scenes is a little noticeable, but not in a really cheap or obvious way, and they are effective scenes.

Onto the acting. Bud Spencer is a charming  lead. I was disappointed at first that he quickly traded in the cool Arabian outfit for a regular suit, but man if he doesn't rock that suit superbly! His trademark squint is as amusing as ever (especially when he somehow winks in one scene), and surprisingly he dubs himself this time round! Usually he was dubbed by others, but in occasional projects he did it himself, and he does well! His voice really suits him.

Everyone else do fine jobs too, from = as Al, = and = as his mother and grandfather, and Diamy Spencer as his love interest. I really like how Bud's movies were often family productions. Rather than feel like nepotism as it usually can, it feels sincere here, and she does a good job. I think she's doing her own voice here, as she enunciates some words interestingly. If it is her, I admire her for doing such a stellar accent!

Overall, Aladdin is a great little picture, and a perfect Bud Spencer solo vehicle. I highly recommend it, and it's a great watch for a rainy day...

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't even heard of this one but I'm slowly developing more and more of an appreciation for 80s movies and you make it sound pretty enjoyable.