REVIEW: ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ is super


Photo courtesy of Nintendo

2023’s billionth video game adaptation of the year (don’t quote me on that), “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” was actually amazing. Sure, I was disappointed with everyone else when Chris Pratt was cast, but the rest of the cast was incredible, and it was really a very entertaining film. 

I grew up playing different Mario games on the Wii, of course, and a few through older consoles and emulators. Honestly, I was always a bit partial to Kirby, but Super Mario Bros. games were obviously a formative part of childhood for anyone growing up in the 2000s. 

With so many recent film and show adaptations of video games, some stellar (The Last of Us) and some not so much (Sonic…), I feel like the fate of this movie could’ve gone either way. Much of the online reception mimicked this, with many dissatisfied with certain choices the company made. 

Like the Sonic film franchise, though, the Internet has proved, once again, to be able to bully a major production company into making a change, whether this is from a minor shift in Chris Pratt’s infliction as Mario or basically remaking the whole film to make Sonic the Hedgehog look completely different (and way better).

Even without comparing it to other video game transformations, the movie was a great watch. Honestly, even if you didn’t have any prior experience or connection to Mario, the movie would be entertaining. Some stuff might seem pretty weird, but the world itself is immersive and could stand on its own as a quirky and fun kids’ movie. 

At times, I felt a bit out of touch with the story just because of how outlandish the whole concept is. For example, (warning: spoilers) when Peach and Mario approach Cranky Kong and ask him for help, why didn’t Cranky Kong just offer his people (monkeys) to help? I mean, surely Bowser’s castle would destroy their kingdom too. But then you think about the fact that this movie is about a bunch of emo turtles trying to destroy a mushroom kingdom, and it makes sense in that fact that really none of it makes sense. 

Really, though, the idea of someone asking for your help and you’re like, “yeah, I’ll help, but only if you let my son beat the crap out of you first.” 

The characters were pretty fun and personable, although I wish we could’ve seen more of Charlie Day as Luigi. I think it would be fun if the movie was advertised as having Mario be the protagonist and get the bulk of the screen time but then you walk in the theaters and the film ends up being about Luigi. 

Of course, this didn’t end up happening, but I still really loved and appreciated how affectionate Mario and Luigi were with each other. I think it sends a good message to kids and was just really sweet to watch. 

I can totally foresee another Mario movie in the future, and I hope we get to see more of the other characters, especially Diddy Kong.