Andrea’s Angle | “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” — Super Fun for Nintendo Fans

One of the reasons I wanted to see this film was that I grew up with Super Mario Bros. I have played Mario Bros 1, 2, and 3, managing to reach the final level. I’ve played Super Mario World as well. So as a fan of the game, I wanted to see whether the movie would be as good as the game and if it would be as good as the previous film made in 1993. After I saw the movie, I found it compares favorably, especially to the game. It is a true reflection of the game, with plenty of references to the Nintendo universe with fun visuals, a killer soundtrack, and engaging performances.

The Super Mario Bros Movie is a computer-animated adventure film based on Nintendo’s Mario video game franchise. Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel, the film features Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) as two Brooklyn plumbers. The brothers are working underground fixing a water main when they find themselves transported down a mysterious pipe and into a magical new world. But the brothers are separated, so Mario embarks on an epic quest to find Luigi. With the assistance of Mushroom Kingdom resident Toad (Keegan-Michael Key) and some training by the strong-willed ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), Mario taps into his own power. The film also features a fantastic comedic cast, including Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogan as Donkey King, and Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong.

The most impressive element of the film is the visual references to the original Nintendo games. For fans of the game, there are tons of game references and visual cues to take you back to your days playing the game. It is especially prevalent in the Mushroom Kingdom, but we see those references throughout the entire movie. The film references the various power-ups that players could tap into to get through the game levels, and in addition, the film references several of the different games, including Mario Kart. For players, this is the most exciting aspect.

The next element that I really noticed was the killer soundtrack. Again, having grown up with the game, there are plenty of call-outs in the music to the Nintendo game. Even better, there are some fantastic songs from the eighties that amp up the action of the film. It adds to the overall energy and fun of the movie, and it’s a blast listening to the music.

The story is a simple one, but it is fun. The story perfectly reflects the game and the various levels that players would have to pass to get through the game. It is an adventure, and the adventure piece is exciting as Mario goes on his quest to rescue his brother. Even better, Princess Peach has her own agency and, as a character, is a kick-ass warrior. I especially loved that the Princess was my favorite character in the game, and I love that she gets to be a hero in the movie.

Chris Pratt is dynamic as Mario. His performance is engaging, and the chemistry between him and Charlie Day is strong. He is equally engaging when he interacts with Anya Taylor-Joy. Charlie Day is funny as Luigi, adding a lighthearted element to scenes with the two brothers. Jack Black is hilarious as Bowser, adding just the right touch of comedic talent. Anya Taylor-Joy is strong and charismatic as Princess Peach. Keegan-Michael Key is fearless as Toad and a blast to watch in this role. Seth Rogan is lively and entertaining as Donkey Kong, as is Fred Armisen as his father, Cranky Kong.

I did find the story far simpler than expected. I would have preferred a more complex story. While Princess Peach has wonderful agency and Mario gets tons of screen time, I also felt the lack of Luigi. The brothers are supposed to be more powerful together, but for most of the film, they are apart. Charlie Day is an excellent comedian and is sadly not well utilized in the movie. He is excellent in his scenes though, despite not having as much time to wow us.

Overall, this is a family movie that will entertain children with the visual elements and the fun story, while adults will love the game references and the fantastic soundtrack. It is fun and entertaining, with great performances. The cast is excellent, even though Charlie Day does not have as much time in the film as the other actors. Despite that, it is still enjoyable, and Luigi does get his moment to shine. The film is a perfect reflection of the game, and for that alone, it will be great fun for audiences.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 power-ups

Official Website: The Super Mario Bros. Movie | In Theaters April 5
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The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Genre: Animation/Adventure/Comedy/Family/Fantasy/Romance/Sci-Fi

A Brooklyn plumber named Mario travels through the Mushroom Kingdom with a princess named Peach and an anthropomorphic mushroom named Toad to find Mario’s brother, Luigi, and to save the world from a ruthless fire-breathing Koopa named Bowser.
THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE opens exclusively in theaters nationwide on April 5, 2023.

ONE-LINER: Plumbing’s our game.

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