The Super Mario Bros Review: More Illumination, Less Imagination


Oh, how we cringe at the mere mention of the 1993 live-action debacle that dared to bring Mario and Luigi to life on the big screen! Fear not, fellow fans, for this latest venture does justice to our beloved plumbers, making amends for past sins.

This new animated extravaganza follows the delightful duo, Mario and Luigi, as they traverse the perilous underground pipelines of Brooklyn, only to be whisked away to the vivid and hazardous realm of the Mushroom Kingdom. Here, they must ally with the valiant Princess Peach and the formidable Donkey Kong to thwart the sinister Bowser and his Koopa minions from wreaking havoc and enslaving the kingdom’s denizens.

It’s impossible not to address the colossal blunder that was the 1993 film, mercilessly panned by critics and fans alike. Thankfully, this latest animated iteration is leaps and bounds ahead in the visual department. The animation is a feast for the eyes, boasting vibrant hues and awe-inspiring landscapes that truly capture the whimsy of the game world.

Amidst the highs and lows of the film, one undeniable triumph is the film’s authentic and awe-inspiring soundtrack. Loyal fans will revel in the masterfully orchestrated renditions of iconic Nintendo themes that have accompanied our beloved characters through countless adventures. The music breathes new life into the timeless melodies, enveloping the audience in a wave of nostalgia and wonder.

These grand symphonic arrangements evoke a powerful sense of joy and excitement, effectively transporting viewers to the enchanting world of the Mushroom Kingdom. The soundtrack not only pays homage to the legendary tunes that defined a generation but also enriches the overall cinematic experience, amplifying the film’s emotional impact and creating an immersive atmosphere that further bridges the gap between the game world and the silver screen.

Regrettably, the film stumbles with the casting of Chris Pratt as Mario’s voice. Despite his undeniable talent, Pratt’s performance falls short of encapsulating the essence of our beloved plumber. In stark contrast, Jack Black’s portrayal of Bowser is a delightful treat, stealing the spotlight in every scene with his humor and exuberance, providing a much-needed spark to an otherwise underwhelming film.

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Alas, even Black’s performance cannot salvage the movie from its reluctance to explore new horizons or take creative risks. The Super Mario Bros animated movie adheres too closely to the tried and true formula, resulting in uneven pacing and action sequences that, while visually stunning, lack depth and impact.

Despite these shortcomings, The Super Mario Bros. animated movie offers an enjoyable romp for gamers and casual film enthusiasts alike. This family-friendly adventure is packed with action, humor, and heart, successfully embodying the spirit of the games in a way the previous film failed to achieve. While it may not be a flawless adaptation, it is a marked improvement over its live-action predecessor and a commendable entry in the Mario Bros. saga.

RATING: 3.0 out of 5.0

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now playing in theaters.

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2 Responses

  1. Hermopolis says:

    a classic for sure, but I do agree that it lacks a bit of imagination this time around.

  1. November 17, 2023

    […] to bring a beloved fantasy world to life. Nintendo, riding high on the success of the “Super Mario Bros. Movie,” is now turning its gaze to another iconic franchise: “The Legend of Zelda.” […]