The build up to “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” was one of the experiences of all time!
When the film was first revealed it was just a poster with the release date of December (which would later be pushed back) along with the news that Illumination would be the studio behind it. This made many people apprehensive about the film since Illumination’s only good film, “Despicable Me” was also their first film, and since then they’ve been making films like… “HOP”, the worst adaptation of “The Grinch”, and “Toy Story” but instead they’re dogs. So of course people were worried, but then… everything changed!
Where were you when the Mario cast was announced? I was watching the Nintendo Direct live when suddenly I came face to face with that black and white picture of Mr. Chris Pratt set to be the voice of Mario, but it didn’t end there. Charlie Day as Luigi, “okay sweet, the ‘Pacific Rim’ guy, he fits the role well”, Jack Black as Bowser. “OK movie settle” Seth Rogan Donkey Kong. It was a chaotic blend of big name actors, popular and unpopular, creating more excitement and fear. A day that would live on in infamy.
So is “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” actually good? Yeah, it’s pretty fun.
The plot is that Mario and Luigi are plumbers from Brooklyn who end up in the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach, Bowser, it’s Mario, you already know what the plot is.
The film doesn’t do anything too crazy aside from Bowser’s motive but I’m pretty sure his goals here are the same as they were in “Mario Odyssey” but I haven’t played that game so I can’t 100 percent confirm that.
Character wise none of them are anything too crazy complex, but they all play off of each other well, they’re fun, and they’re entertaining. I liked how much of a prideful jerk Donkey Kong was, while also being a bit of a bro to Mario, they had a fun dynamic. They made Peach cool and I liked that they made her able to kick butt, but still have a little bit of that damsel in distress that is just a staple of Mario.
Of course I need to address the elephant in the room, the voice actors. They all did great. The only voice that didn’t really work was Cranky Kong who sounded too nasally and not cranky enough.
When it comes to the jokes, I’ll be honest a good chunk of them weren’t that great. The edgy and dark Luma was definitely the funniest character in the film. I did laugh a number of times during the film but it was mostly during situational and absurd stuff like King Bob-omb dying. Most of the stuff I found funny definitely wasn’t intentional, like when the giant Bullet Bill got launched all I could think of was “Ace Combat Zero” and the whole “It’s Time” scene and that made me crack up, and I also laughed at the after credit scene because it was identical to “Godzilla” (1998)’s and that’s what level my humor is currently at, stupid unintentional references.
One thing that really stood out was the action scenes, all of which went hard. They do a good job of making it exciting, framing everything well, character personalities are not lost within the action, it’s great. The final battle is also very anime so that’s funny as well.
So yeah, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is pretty fun. Look, it’s not the most deep and complex film out there, the characters don’t have arcs, they don’t try to redeem Bowser or anything, this is the Mario movie. It does exactly what it needs to. Truthfully my only big issue is that the characters in the normal world all look like Illumination characters, there’s a dog that looks like it was ripped straight out of “Secret Life of Pets” but if that’s my biggest issue, then the film is doing pretty good.
It’s a fun and enjoyable film for kids and Nintendo fans, go check it out if you’re one of those. I was going to give it an 8, but because there was no Wario or Waluigi, I give it 7 uh … stars for once, out of 10.
Connor Keating is a Halstead sophomore in general studies