“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is fun, funny, entertaining and tailor made for those who are huge fans of the game. My inner child was grinning from ear to ear, and I commend the filmmakers for successfully presenting the world building, the game details and the iconic tunes by intertwining them with the film’s score.
This video game adaptation is directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic. It features the voices of Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Kay and Seth Rogen. When brothers Mario and Luigi leave their job to open their own plumbing company they face doubt and disappointment from their family. One day, they enter the city’s sewer and come across a magical pipe that takes them to another realm. The brothers are separated and must find a way back to each other.
Without exaggerating, I can confess that I was transported back to my childhood. It rekindled specific memories I hadn’t visited in decades. Seven-year-old Rosa would often play Mario Bros on my neighbor’s Nintendo. My family couldn’t afford one so all my experience came from playing with others. Those happy times resurfaced while watching this film, and that nostalgic feeling of joy is something I wholeheartedly appreciate. Every nostalgic cord in my being was momentarily awakened.
The animation was beautiful and very authentic to the game. Its colorful aesthetic will appeal to the younger audience, and the runtime is the perfect length to hold their attention. It does feel like a commercial to the variety of characters, games and worlds within this video game franchise. So, parents, you’ve been warned.
The voice acting worked very well. Pratt was excellent as Mario but Jack Black takes the MVP trophy. He is perfect as Bowser but it is Black so we already know his singing skills are superb. Although, in second place came Lumalee who had the best one liners and jokes. Taylor-Joy as Peach is also flawless because Anya is Peach in every single sense of the word. Kay as Toad was also great and Day’s Luigi also worked wonderfully. Rogen’s Donkey Kong may be my least favorite out of the bunch, but I didn’t dislike it.
The story is simple and formulaic, but I don’t expect a highly complex and layered plot from a video game adaptation. I did buy into the brothers’ dynamic, their bond and their need to succeed. Some funny moments worked for me (maybe it was my inner child having the time of her life), and I relished the abundance of references to the games. If you’re not a big fan of the video game, then I wouldn’t recommend seeing this film. But if you grew up playing or you currently play, then this may be a fun time at the theaters.
Overall, “The Super Mario Bros.” Movie is an entertaining adaptation that stays true to its source material. A dream come true to fans who’ve played the game religiously and a visually stunning animated feature for the kiddos.