Movie Review: The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Photo Courtesy of Ryan Quintal

I think once it was announced that Chris Pratt was going to be voicing Mario in the new Super Mario Bros. movie, everyone knew that this movie was going to be interesting to say the least. Then, the rest of the cast was announced, and I was extremely excited to see actors such as Jack Black and Seth Rogan. Well, the day has finally come that I got the chance to go see it and I am once again back with my spoiler-free reviews! 

“Super Mario Bros.” follows Mario (Chris Pratt) as he gets dumped into the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario meets Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) and along with the help of Toad, (Keegan-Micheal Key) they set off to find Luigi (Charlie Day) and stop Bowser (Jack Black) from taking over the world.

Now, I will say upfront that I was never much of a Nintendo kid growing up. My first experience with any kind of Mario game was my first time playing Mario Kart 8 about three years ago. Since then, I haven’t played any other Mario game. I was afraid going into “Super Mario Bros.” that my lack of knowledge of the franchise would hurt my viewing experience. 

However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s something I really appreciated about the movie. I was expecting to see lots of easter eggs and name drops of characters I had no previous experience about. But, there were only a couple times that I was left scratching my head. There were a few references to the first Super Mario games that even I could pick up on. As someone who enjoys when filmmakers add these kinds of references, it made me happy to see that “Super Mario Bros.” was paying homage to the story’s roots.

Additionally, I was afraid of how “Super Mario Bros.” would portray Princess Peach. Recently, movies (I’m looking at you Disney) have created and remade their female characters to be more powerful to the point where they lose their femininity, as if you can’t be powerful while also being feminine. I was afraid Peach would get the same treatment, however, I left feeling okay with Peach’s depiction. I expected to leave hating or loving Peach’s character, but I feel pretty neutral regarding her. I enjoyed that she was powerful while keeping some of her feminine traits, but something felt off that I just can’t seem to place.

Visually, it was beautiful. There were only a few times that the animation felt a bit too goofy, but I’m willing to overlook it because it is a children's movie. The animation felt mostly familiar, with it being similar to Disney’s 3D animation, however with enough small differences to make it refreshing.

An absolute stand out was Jack Black as Bowser. I have always been a huge Jack Black fan, so when I saw that he was going to voice Bowser I was very excited about what he would do with the character. By now, there have been various memes of Black as Bowser, including his song in the movie, “Peaches.” Black stole every single scene that he was in and I was always looking forward to seeing him.  

I really have minimal complaints about this movie. Overall, a really fun and enjoyable experience. I would recommend it to anyone, it’s great for kids and adults alike!