Review: “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”

A surprisingly fun adventure.


Photo courtesy of Nintendo, Illumination/Universal Pictures.

Gabriel Flynn, Staff Writer

  Going into this film I really didn’t expect much, given it’s a video game adaptation and the mixed bag that tends to be Illumination movies. I had hoped at most for a decent family movie with some mediocre humor.

  My expectations were turned around almost immediately. The movie has a scene at the beginning where the Mario brothers have their plumbing business advertisement play. It was just charming, and then all the subtle references between the guy from Wrecking Crew and Mario playing Kid Icarus on an NES just added so much fun.

  Not to mention the voice acting was actually surprisingly good. While many were worried about the quality of Chris Pratt’s voice acting, he did really well. So much so that I really didn’t even notice it was him.

  Of course, you shouldn’t go into this movie expecting some new mind-blowing story. It is a family show meant for all audiences. The story here is a relatively simple one that really just serves to bring out the characters and give them their time to shine.

  In particular is a Luma, or a cute little talking star from Mario Galaxy.

  This unnamed Luma gives us wonderful lines that are completely devoid of hope, and they say it in an adorable voice that makes it hard not to laugh. It’s made even harder when the other characters yell back at them.

  There is also an amazing amount of detail in background pieces. The entire world is made up of references; it feels like it came straight from a game. Even Brooklyn feels like it’s been turned virtual while still coming off as a real place.

  The character that really drew me in however was Bowser. The entire movie I couldn’t quite place where I heard him from. Then in the credits, I realize it as his name scrolls up. Jack Black is Bowser. It makes the humor and especially the singing make so much more sense. Black really managed to bring a unique liveliness to Bowser that brought his personality out and poked a bit of fun at the games.

  One of the main complaints I’ve seen leveraged against the movie is that it’s an ad for the Mario games. I don’t get this complaint. You’re going to a video game movie and you should expect it to be referencing the games it’s based on.

  For those expecting a unique and innovative story, this isn’t for you. But if you want something fun that you can watch with your family or alone then this is a fun adventure for all.

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