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Movie Review: “The Super Mario Bros. Movie”

After a partnership between Illumination Entertainment and Nintendo was announced in 2018, many fans speculated what would transpire with the rumored Super Mario movie which came along with it.

Even before April 5, I had fairly high expectations for this film. After all, anything would be better than the 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. film, which was both a commercial and critical failure. To this day, I still have not watched it all the way through.

Once the first trailer and cast list dropped, my expectations grew even higher. From top to bottom, the movie consisted of numerous stars: Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black, Seth Rogan, etc.

Upon watching the new Super Mario Bros. Movie, I found myself pleasantly surprised with the actors. Even Chris Pratt, who I was arguably most skeptical about, gave a great performance. He put on a fairly good Brooklyn accent without making Mario sound like the caricature we know.

Additionally, the other actors in the film turned in stellar performances. Jack Black’s Bowser was a highlight of the film, as he lowered his voice to sound menacing while still retaining his iconic voice. Let’s also not forget the song “Peaches,” which he performs throughout the film.

Another highlight was the sound effects placed throughout the film. In partnership with Nintendo, Illumination took actual sound effects from the various Mario games and used them excellently.

On top of the sound effects, the film’s score was also well put-together. The soundtrack combined different tracks from the video games but remixed them to fit the scenes.

Plotwise, The Super Mario Bros. Movie also held up well. It presented Mario and his brother Luigi with an origin story of sorts, portraying the brothers as blue-collar workers who become transported into a whimsical world where they must defeat Bowser, who has stolen the all-powerful Super Star.

As such, the film shows the brothers’ family, including Mario’s father, who is portrayed by Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario and Luigi in the video games since 1991.

At just over an hour and a half, the film lies on the shorter side, but is still packed with easter eggs and references to multiple different Mario games, creating the feeling of vastness without seeming overcrowded.

While critics have railed this new Super Mario Movie over the first weekend, it is important to remember this film was not made for them. Rather, it is meant as a family film, and is a good one at that.

By my opinion, Illumination has hit the nail on the head once again, cementing themselves as one of the masters of family films. In good company with films like Despicable Me, Sing, and Secret Life of Pets, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a brilliant installation.

However, this begs the question of whether there will be a sequel, especially since there is not one, but two post-credit scenes.

Without a doubt, the new Super Mario Bros. Movie is a fantastic choice for a night out with family or even with friends. It possesses a sense of fun, innocence, and spectacle sure to give everyone a great time.

Out of 10 stars, The Super Mario Bros. Movie warrants 7.5.

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