The Super Mario Bros. Movie is the latest attempt to bring the beloved video game franchise to the big screen, following the disastrous live-action adaptation of 1993. This time, the movie is an animated feature produced by Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets, and co-directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, the creators of Teen Titans Go!. The movie boasts an impressive voice cast that includes Chris Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. But does the movie live up to the expectations of the fans and the general audience?
The plot of the movie is simple and straightforward: Mario and Luigi are plumbers from Brooklyn who get sucked into a warp pipe that leads them to the Mushroom Kingdom, a colorful and whimsical world full of strange creatures and power-ups. There, they meet Princess Peach, who needs their help to stop the evil King Bowser from stealing the Super Star, a magical artifact that can grant him unlimited power. Along the way, they encounter various characters and locations from the games, such as Yoshi, Goombas, Koopas, Piranha Plants, Bob-ombs, Boos, Lakitus, Bullet Bills, and more.
The movie is clearly aimed at a younger audience, who will likely enjoy the fast-paced action, the bright animation, and the silly humor. The movie is also full of references and easter eggs for the fans of the games, such as recreating iconic levels, power-ups, sound effects, and music. However, for anyone looking for a deeper or more original story, the movie might disappoint. The movie does not explore much of the characters’ personalities or motivations beyond their basic roles. The movie also does not offer any surprises or twists in its predictable plot. The movie relies heavily on nostalgia and fan service to keep the viewers engaged, but it does not add anything new or meaningful to the franchise.
The voice cast does a decent job of bringing their characters to life, but some of them might sound odd or mismatched to those who are used to hearing different voices in the games. For example, Chris Pratt’s Mario sounds more like a generic action hero than a cheerful Italian plumber. Jack Black’s Bowser sounds more like a goofy villain than a menacing tyrant. Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong sounds more like a stoner than a gorilla. Some of the voice choices might also raise some questions about the representation and diversity of the cast, especially considering that most of them are white actors playing characters from a Japanese-originated franchise.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is not a bad movie by any means. It is a fun and harmless family-friendly entertainment that will please most kids and some adults. It is also a faithful and respectful adaptation of one of the most popular and influential video game series of all time. However, it is also not a very memorable or remarkable movie that will stand out among other animated movies or video game adaptations. It is a movie that you can watch once and enjoy for what it is, but not one that you will want to watch again or remember for long.
You can watch the trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie here.
Check out its IMDB page here. The movie is currently playing in theaters and streaming on Peacock.
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