By Christopher Diosomito
“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” released in theaters April 5 and has since then reached over $700 million in the box office. It is the highest grossing movie of 2023 and is looking to hit a billion dollars before its theater run is over.
The entire movie is a love letter to the games it’s adapted from. The film brings the Mushroom Kingdom that many of us have played through at least once to life.
As you would expect from a video game world, the animation throughout the film is very colorful. The iconic green pipes make an appearance and like in the games, bring you into a whole new world. Piranha Plants, Bullet Bills, Question Mark Boxes and many other features from the video games come up on the big screen.
The movie added a lot more depth to these characters which made them feel more like heroes as they go on to save the day. Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) truly come off as brothers who care and depend on each other. The opening sequence featuring the brother’s plumbing commercial unites the brothers. It is fun and feels like two siblings came up with the idea together. Immediately after the commercial finishes up, the pure joy on their faces is very wholesome and establishes their connection early on.
The love Bowser (Jack Black) has for Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) is goofy in the best way possible. His love for a girl who doesn’t care about him is both funny and sad as we see his gestures throughout the movie.
The voice acting performances by the star studded cast is where the film gets iffy. The controversial pick of Chris Pratt led many to be skeptical of the film, but Pratt’s performance was good overall. Mario didn’t have the iconic Italian accent that we hear in voice lines during the games but it was not enough to ruin the movie per say.
One aspect of the film that stood out to me in regards to the voice acting was Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong. The actor spoke like he would normally. He made no effort to give DK a unique voice. In one particular scene where DK laughed, it was just Rogen’s normal laugh which we’ve heard many times in his other films. The recognizable laugh made a funny moment funnier–for the wrong reason.
Despite the lack of effort at times by Rogen, Jack Black seemed to always put his all into the character. Bowser’s personality was amplified by Black’s performance. His character stole the show every time he entered the screen.
There are lots of references to the Mario franchise throughout the film for a seasoned veteran to find. You can watch the movie multiple times if you’re looking to go hunting for easter eggs. Even if you’ve never played the games before, the movie is still a very fun watch!
“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is a fun film for the whole family to enjoy. It’s for the older siblings or parents who have played the games and the younger kids being introduced to this video game world for the first time.