By Catholic News Service
Spirited live-action remake of the 1992 animated feature in which the street lad of the title (Mena Massoud) is aided by a genie (Will Smith) both in his seemingly hopeless pursuit of the princess (Naomi Scott) for whom he’s fallen and in thwarting the evil schemes of her father the sultan’s (Navid Negahban) chief adviser (Marwan Kenzari).
Exuberant and lavish, director and co-writer Guy Ritchie’s musical fantasy will have viewers rooting for its underdog hero, savoring the gentle romance in which he engages and appreciating messages about humility, honesty, self-sacrificing friendship and the equal dignity of women. Too scary for small fry, the protagonist’s adventure also finds him surviving, initially, by petty theft and pickpocketing, activities which the script, penned with John August, airily excuses in a way that might take some sorting through with impressionable kids.
Occult material, a benign view of minor wrongdoing, considerable peril. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.