Todd Russell’s review published on Letterboxd:
My YouTube Review after leaving the theater (doesn't get any fresher than that)
This has been in the theaters around three months as of this writing and I waited to see it primarily because I wasn't a huge fan of the original Lion King animated film. This is the photorealistic live action version of Lion King following suit from Jungle Book. It is the second highest grossing movie of 2019, raking in over $1.6 billion at the box office. I'm extremely late to this in the theater review party.
And after seeing it, I'm OK with that.
The basic story is the kingdom is being threatened by Scar, brother of Mufasa (voiced by the immortal James Earl Jones). Along the way Simba, the cub son of Mufasa is the main character. The vocal work is very good, particularly the work by Seth Rogen (I could spot him) and of course James Earl Jones reprising his Mufasa voice. It's a rush hearing Darth Vader in a lion.
Lions are such cool, badass animals. Just looking at them and they are majestic, but this movie was slow until the ending. I didn't care for the music, particular the version of "In The Jungle (the mighty jungle" or whatever the correct song name is. None of the other singing music was very good either. I was entertained and see why families are flocking to take their young children to see this, but it's not the kind of movie I enjoy seeing.
I'd rather see old school Disney movies like Pinnochio, Snow White or Dumbo. Would I want to see those live action vs. animated? Maybe if there was an original story, but why would I just want to see a version that's not animated? It all seems like Disney cash grab to me more than anything all that original. At the end of the day, it was entertaining (thanks to the ending), but not something I'm ever going to want to watch again. Ok, maybe if the grandchildrend want to see it, I might.