The Super Mario Bros. Movie Review


Super Mario Bros has been one of the biggest pop culture movements of our time, from 2D games like Super Mario World to better 3D games like Super Mario Odyssey. It is something that clicks with many people and has a very fun experience. There is no complicated story or cinematic graphic, it is just a great, simple game that you have fun playing, with colorful graphics, and a high attention to detail. 

The new movie by Universal and Illumination, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” tries to capture that same experience and tries to put it in a cinematic format that the whole family can experience. This is the second movie adaptation of the game, after the 1993 live action “Super Mario Bros.” movie, and the 2023 film gets so many things about Mario lore right. The Mushroom Kingdom in the movie, which is one of the main locations in the games as well as in the movie, looks almost exactly like the Mushroom kingdom in the games. There are other things too, like fireflowers, super stars and question mark boxes which are beautifully animated and have the exact same sound effects as the games, making the overall experience precisely faithful to the source material. Even Mario (played by Chris Pratt), who has an American accent in the movie, says his trademark catchphrases like “let’s a-go” and “it’s a-me.” But, even though it is one of the most faithful video game adaptations ever, it changes the character a little from the games, with the simpleness gone, and instead having a real person’s personality. He makes jokes, meta references which are clearly aimed at Super Mario Bros’ diehard fans. 

In this movie, Mario and Luigi are from Brooklyn, who, as it seems, for no reason at all are teleported into the world with the Mushroom Kingdom and Princess Peach, Toad and the main villain, Bowser. A lot of the events in the movie are based off of the games which sometimes feel like it is too faithful. The excessive fan service in the movie also doesn’t fit well with the plot and results in weird character decisions. For example, when Mario recruits the Donkey Kong and the Kong army, they travel back to the Mushroom kingdom with go-karts instead of the teleporting tubes that would be so much better. Were the go-karts interesting and cool? Maybe. Was there any reason for them to drive in go-karts? Not at all. But, Mario Kart is one of the biggest games ever, so that’s why there were go-karts. In the Super Mario Bros Movie, it seems that a pure and exciting character has been made into a real person, and that sometimes doesn’t seem right . And even though they tried to make this Mario into the actual Mario, sometimes it doesn’t hit right and doesn’t represent the whole franchise well. 

Overall, I would definitely recommend you watching this movie, as it was really exciting and fun to watch, and while it may sometimes not make sense, it will definitely be a wild and fun ride.