One of the biggest film releases this year was The Super Mario Brothers movie. It's one we never got around to seeing but as Oscar season approaches it is time for me to catch up. It is the highest grossing film based on a video game and one of 2023’s highest performing movies grossing over a billion dollars globally. That said we should all know by now that the general public is usually wrong in matters of film critique so that really means nothing to me. So here we go with my review of The Super Mario Brothers movie.
So the premise is that Mario and Luigi are like actual plumbers in real life…apparently similar to the live action movie that I didn’t know existed but it definitely seems as terrible as it sounds. They get sucked into the video game world through a tunnel in an old pumping station. I don’t know how I feel about that but let’s continue.
The pipe sequence when Mario is trying to figure out how to follow Toad is actually great. The movie seems to be doing a good job of melding as many of the games as possible. Down to Luigi’s Mansion. So fans of the games definitely had a good time if for no other reason then they good pick out all the references.
Love Princess Peach the damsel in distress story is so so tired and quite frankly, unnecessary. I love having characters that are normally saved being the ones that do the saving.
I have decided that I don’t have a problem with how the brothers got there. I think it centers Peach more and gives her more agency. Like Mario is a catalyst for her journey while still centeringthe brothers and their story. I think it was actually a very smart way to frame the story.
I think the casting choices are….interesting. Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong, Charlie Day as Luigi and Chris Pratt as Mario were not my first, second, third or tenth picks for these characters but I guess it's fine. It didn’t kill the movie for me but it absolutely could have been better with better suited voice actors.
I liked the ending, I don’t know if I would have brought it into the real world for the final fight but I understand why they did it. If the brothers were going to return to reality they needed some real world credibility. I love that they went back to live in the Mushroom kingdom, I think it would have stepped on the whole movie to have them really return to the real world and stay there.
This movie has clear multigenerational appeal, between older generations being fans of the original games, 80s filled soundtrack, current animation and an updated story whether you are a casual fan or have never experienced Mario before there is something to like about this movie. I think they marketed it very well and it reached its audience. In addition I think this movie didn’t really have a specific target audience, as it kind of appealed to everyone. All of which explains why it did so well in its theatrical run. We are going to take off a point for the casting choices because I truly think they were bad. I had to keep looking over at my husband after something happened to see if it was a real thing in the games and apparently the movie did pretty well in that department. The story was well done and I think the movie has rewatchability so we are giving it a 9/10.