Lion King Remake Hit with Early Rotten Score, Why Aren't Critics Loving It?

Disney’s The Lion King remake has debuted with a Rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes. As with all of the studio’s remakes, the newest is proving to be pretty divisive amongst critics. This is slightly surprising since The Lion King was looked at in a much more positive light when compared to the recent releases of Aladdin and Dumbo earlier this year. With the all-star cast on board and gorgeous scenery, many assumed the latest remake was about to please a lot of fans and critics.

As of this writing, The Lion King is sitting at a 58% Rotten Rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is tied with the Aladdin remake. It appears a lot of critics are in agreement that the CGI wizardry is great and all, but the movie may have put too much focus on the look and left the story in the dust. With that being said, there are quite a lot of glowing reviews for the remake too, which just goes to show what we already knew: these remakes aren’t for everybody. And the movie seems to be getting the same complaints from various critics. IndieWire’s David Ehrlich says this.

“A well-rendered but creatively bankrupt self-portrait of a movie studio eating its own tail.”

Us Weekly goes onto have similar complaints, with Mara Reinstein offering these thoughts.

“For all the remake’s technological majesty, that special mystique unique to the 1994 original lies far beyond where the light touches.

GQ’s Joshua Rivera continues those thoughts, taking it further by stating this.

“As visually singular a work The Lion King is, it often presents itself as plainly as possible, causing many of its most powerful scenes to ring hollow as it fails to sustain or build any sort of emotional foundation in any given moment.”

The Associated Press claims it doesn’t even have, ‘a heart’. And Den of Geeks chimes in with this complaint, ‘This entertaining but eventually forgettable remix starts to feel as pointless as the rest of Disney’s recent remakes.’ The Verge continues on this train of thought, offering, ‘While it’s a near shot-for-shot remake of the original, this version of The Lion King lacks much of the emotion and expressiveness that keeps people coming back to the first.’ There are plenty of reviews praising the movie as well. But right now all the negative voices seem to be outweighing the positive.

The negative reviews will more than likely have zero-effect on the box office performance of The Lion King. As it stands, the remake looks like it will be one of the biggest movies of the year when all of the dust settles. Aladdin was blasted on social media when the trailer first dropped and many believed it would not live up to Disney’s box office expectations. But, the movie has now made over $925 million globally and is currently the third highest grossing movie of the year both domestically and globally.

Related: Lion King Cast Stares Down Their Characters in 7 Stunning New Portraits

Jon Favreau’s Jungle Book remake is currently at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and is one of the most well-received of the Disney remakes thus far. Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that fans have not seen The Lion King remake yet. The real test will be when the movie opens in theaters next week. Beyoncé and Donald Glover may have a big enough pull on their own to gain some positive reviews from moviegoers. We’ll just have to wait and see, but the critics seem to be more than a little divided this time around.

The Lion King remake just held its world premiere in Hollywood earlier this week and a lot of the first reactions were mixed too. More than one person has referred to the movie as bland, while others tend to be a bit more forgiving. Whenever anything as big as The Lion King, or Aladdin, or The Little Mermaid gets the remake treatment, people are going to have a lot to say about it and Disney is pretty used to it by this point in the game. Regardless, the remake is still probably going to dominate at the box office. You can head over to Rotten Tomatoes to check out some reviews of The Lion King.


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