The Super Mario Bros. Movie: A Mixed Bag of Reviews but a Box Office Winner
Super Mario Brothers. Movie, directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, was released in theaters on April 5, 2023, and has been met with mixed reviews. The film follows the story of Mario and Luigi, two brothers who are transported into an alternate universe after a plumbing mishap. Mario finds himself in the Mushroom Kingdom, a colorful and whimsical world ruled by Princess Peach, while Luigi is stuck in the Dark Lands, a Tim Burton-esque nightmare ruled by the evil Bowser.
The film's voice cast includes Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek, and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike. The film has been rated PG for action and mild violence.
Despite the solid visuals and action direction, the film's lack of originality in storytelling has been a point of criticism. The screenplay, credited to Mark Fogel, leans heavily on tedious tropes plucked from superhero movies and fantasy adventures, with Mario being re-imagined in the vein of an MCU hero. Reviewers have noted that the film has an astonishing lack of jokes, twists, memorable lines, exhilarating stunts, and anything else that might engage any viewer who isn't playing spot-the-allusion.
However, the film's references to Mario's long history of games have been praised, with many noting that it will be more than enough to send families and gamers out of theaters gushing. The film's myriad references to Mario's long history of games should make it one of the highest-grossing films of the year.
The standout performance in the film has been noted as Jack Black as Bowser. His fondness for the extravagant qualifies him as an ideal fit for the role. Despite his imposing size, he has the ability to sing endearing love songs to Peach in a manner that doesn't compromise his personality. Despite Bowser’s thirst for power not being explored in any serious way, Black’s performance makes Bowser more than just a villain to be toppled.
Super Mario Brothers. Movie has been rated 46% on Rotten Tomatoes, with some critics praising its references to Mario's long history of games, while others have criticized its lack of originality in storytelling. Despite the mixed reviews, the film's opening weekend is expected to be a box office coup, with families and gamers flocking to theaters to see the beloved characters on the big screen once again.
0. “‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie' Review: An Unconvincing Nintendo Billboard, Unfortunately” The Playlist, 4 Apr. 2023, https://theplaylist.net/the-super-mario-bros-movie-is-an-unconvincing-nintendo-billboard-review-20230404/
1. “Critics Say ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie' a Beautiful Bit of Fan-Service” Animation Magazine, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.animationmagazine.net/2023/04/critics-say-super-mario-bros-movie-a-beautiful-bit-of-fan-service-and-not-much-else/
2. “‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Review: Kid-Friendly Video Game Adaptation Pulls Out All the Power-Ups” IndieWire, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.indiewire.com/2023/04/the-super-mario-bros-movie-review-1234825508
3. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie Review: Not So Much A Film As It Is A Checklist Of Video Game References” CinemaBlend, 4 Apr. 2023, https://www.cinemablend.com/movies/the-super-mario-bros-movie-review
4. “‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie' review: When Chris Pratt and Jack Black face off, who wins?” Mashable, 4 Apr. 2023, https://mashable.com/article/the-super-mario-bros-movie-review
5. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie First Reactions Are In” Den of Geek, 2 Apr. 2023, https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/super-mario-bros-movie-first-reactions/
6. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie First Reviews: Packed with Nostalgia and Easter Eggs, but Mostly Aimed at Kids” Rotten Tomatoes, 5 Apr. 2023, https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/the-super-mario-bros-movie-first-reviews/
7. “Super Mario Bros. Movie Reviews: Mixed On Stuffed Chris Pratt-Led Film” Screen Rant, 4 Apr. 2023, https://screenrant.com/super-mario-bros-movie-reviews-reactions