The Super Mario Bros Movie

April 4, 202340/1007 min
Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black
Written by
Matthew Fogel
Directed by
Aaron Hovath and Michael Jelenic
Run Time
1h 32min
Release Date
April 7th, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Summary

           You would think making a movie based on the Super Mario game series would be an easy task, but for anyone who remembers the 1993 film, knows that that is not true. Yeah it has its bonkers charms, but then Hollywood was just not ready to deliver that adaptation the way it was displayed on our NES systems. Fast forward thirty years later and once again Mario and his Brother Luigi are ready for an adventure, but thanks to animation, we may finally get the Mario movie we deserve.

It’s a big day for Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) as their first commercial for their plumbing business is airing on TV. The future looks bright and soon they get their first job, but when trying to help the city solve a leak the brothers make a discovery. One that involves a pipe that sucks them in and delivers them to a whole different world. This strange world is going through some disagreements, as Bowser (Jack Black) and his army of Koopas are trying to take over all the land and force Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) to marry him. Mario ends up in the Mushroom Kingdom, but is without Luigi, and is soon met by Toad (Keegan-Michael Key), who knows just who can help find his brother. That help comes in the form of the Princess, but time is short as Bowser and his army are on the way to crush them. Peach knows she is outgunned, so she seeks another’s help, so that together they can defeat Bowser once and for all. Adventures happen and power ups are consumed as the secret weapon to defeat Bowser lies a plumber from Brooklyn.

Written by Matthew Fogel, the script might be the weakest link, as it feels like boxes were just checked on what to have in the movie and not a story built around the characters. The story is pretty barebones, but somehow still comes off as overstuffed, as the film has only a 92 minute run time. Although the story is lacking, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is filled to the brim with things to trigger nostalgia, throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. That includes countless music cues from the game as well as characters from many of the game’s sequels that are sure to bring smiles. Nostalgia though will only get you so far, and once you get past that, these isn’t much left. There are no story arcs for the characters, which gives us no reason to care what happens to them, other than their famous names. It’s like the only thing that matter to the people behind the movie was just to make a Mario movie that looks and sounds like the games, regardless if its good or bad.

               The Super Mario Bros. Movie is filled with problems, but in the famous words of Marty McFly, “your kids are going to love it”. Bright colors and great looking animation will get far with them, but for anyone who wants substance with their movies, you are going to have some problems. It’s not just that the story is so lackluster, but the jokes are also very ineffective, and we all know what all work and no play lead too, a dull time. I really wanted to enjoy this movie, as I love the Mario games, but I actually might prefer the 93 version, because I mean at least they tried something different. Ultimately this movie is for kids and they will enjoy repeat viewings of it, but if you are like me and are hoping for this Mario to deliver, you will be let down. This is an unfortunate case of a video game adaptation that is in need of a lot more power-ups.

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