Film Review by Fiore
It does my heart good when I find a real gem lost in the quagmire of blockbuster films. THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ALADDIN is a French production, released nearly two years ago in the land of Croissants. It finally has made its way to American shores, and I’m glad it did. This is one of the better comedies I’ve seen in a while.
It is a madcap adventure written like the Zucker-Abrahams comedies that made a comedic genius of Leslie Nielson. The movie breaks the fourth border with modern references and reenactments, set in ancient times.
Director Arthur Benzaquen helms organized celluloid chaos, even to the shameless admission, in a key climatic scene, of not having the budget for a heavy effects sequence. Writer Davie Cohen approaches each scene with a no-holds barred writing style, which includes a Beyonce seduction segment and a music video production for Aladdin’s entrance into Baghdad. I find this unexpected lunatic comedy extremely funny, like when Chris Pratt began dancing in front of Ronan for a dance-off during the conclusion of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ALADDIN commences with Sam, played by Kev Adams, and his best friend Khalid, played by William Lebghil, who are mere retail clerks tasked with portraying Santa Claus in a major department store on Christmas Eve. Sam is madly in love with Sofia, an elite aristocrat, played by Vanessa Guide. She is unaware of Sam’s actual position, and thinks he is in high finance. While dressed as Santa, Sam is corralled by a group of kids wanting to hear a story. He spins the tale of Aladdin that ends up incorporating himself, Sofia and Khalid.
Also starring are: Jean-Paul Rouve as the evil Le Vizir; Audrey Lamy as Rababa; Arthur Benzaquen as Le Magicien; Michel Blanc as Le Sultan; and Eric Judor as Le Genie.
1.1 KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:
1. THE BEYONCE SEDUCTION
2. ALADDIN’S ARRIVAL IN BAGDAD
3. CARJACKING THE FLYING CARPET
4. FINISHING THE STORY AT SOFIA’S HOUSE
To be certain, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ALADDIN is a modestly budgeted caper. It is the comedy that carries this film, not the SFX. Editing by Brian Schmitt is well-done. He keeps the film moving and to a respectable length for its genre. Cinematographer Pierre Aim provides nice transitions between Baghdad and modern times. He does a clever job on the mock up scene of the shadow sword fight between Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn in THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD.
Let’s take a look at the report card for THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ALADDIN:
1.2 ACTING = B
1.3 CINEMATOGRAPHY = B
1.4 SOUND/MUSIC = B
1.5 EDITING = B
1.6 LIGHTING = C
1.7 SCRIPT = B
1.8 SFX = C
1.9 ACTION = B
Admittedly, this type of comedy isn’t for everyone. I, however, never grow tired of it. THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ALADDIN is very funny in a madcap manner. It is not opening in Pittsburgh, but you can still see it on VOD and home video. If you think the AIRPLANE and NAKED GUN movies are funny, you’ll enjoy THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ALADDIN.