A street urchin named Aladdin, a genie and a princess. Sprinkle in an evil Vizir’s plot to take over a kingdom and voila, you have a story most are familiar with thanks to Disney’s 1992 adaptation of the classic tale from ‘The Book of One Thousand and One Nights’. However this version isn’t quite the same as you may remember. Although it may look like a movie directed at children with its slapstick style comedy, brightly colored costumes and whimsical sets you may want to reconsider this for the little ones. With some of the crude humor and sexual innuendo I think this film is more suitable for the teen and older crowd.
Our story begins with Sam (Kev Adams) and his friend Khalid (William Lebghil) dressed as Santa Clause, preparing to rob the department store they work at. While waiting for the store to close, Sam is cornered by a mob of children begging him for a story. Not taking the suggestions being thrown at him he launches in to his rendition of Aladdin. Instantly we are transported to Baghdad with Sam taking the lead role of our main character. Along the way he meets the beautiful princess Shallia (Vanessa Guide), the evil Vizir (Jean-Paul Rouve) who is dead bent on taking over the kingdom, a quirky magician (Arthur Benzaquen) who is looking to recruit our hero to secure a magic lamp and of course a flamboyant Genie (Eric Judor) looking to be released from his bonds of the lamp. The rest of the 107 minute runtime is spent bouncing back and forth between reality and the remixed narrative of our storyteller a la The Princess Bride. There is comedic action spread throughout as well as an interesting Bollywood style musical number thrown in for good measure.
This is director Arthur Benzaquen’s full length directorial debut and although some might disagree, I think he struck pure comedy gold. The whole cast has great chemistry together and the duo of Adams/Lebghil works very well. Between the movie spoofs, musical numbers and dick jokes, my inner teen was giggling the entire time. If you’re just looking for some mindless fun this should definitely tide you over until we finally get Disney’s live action remake. This movie was originally released in France in 2015 but is available now in English dubbed VOD on most major platforms.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (or 4 if you're high)