The Super Mario Bros. Movie Knocks it Out of the Park | Review

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is currently breaking box office records all over the place and Becky is here to help explain why, and why you should go see it for yourself.

While eyebrows were initially raised when the voice cast was revealed for The Super Mario Bros. Movie, the subsequent trailers soon had movie-goers all but begging to see the movie, as this appeared to be the Super Mario movie fans had been waiting decades to see. Everything about this movie appeared to be perfect, but could it actually live up to the hype?

As it turns out, the answer is a resounding yes.

Having seen the movie myself just after it arrived in theaters, I can confirm that The Super Mario Bros. Movie knocks it out of the park in every way possible. The animation is spot-on, with numerous locations from multiple Mario games being brought to stunning life throughout the story. The story sees Mario and Luigi sucked from Brooklyn into the world of the Mushroom Kingdom, where Bowser is on the prowl for all the power he can get his hands on.

As you might expect with a film based on Super Mario, there are Easter Eggs everywhere, meaning there’s plenty to look for during repeat viewings. The Mushroom Kingdom in particular, especially Peach’s Castle, look exactly the way I always thought it would, right down to the stained glass window of the princess. Speaking of Easter Eggs, there are a number of hysterically funny musical Easter Eggs scattered through the film. I can’t really say what they are specifically because of plot spoilers, but I will say my favorite one involves Bowser and a piano (not the song you may have heard about, the other piano moment).

Then there’s the characters in this awesome movie. To be perfectly honest, I loved them all, but Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and Bowser stand out as my favorites. While I’ll always be a little miffed that Charles Martinet couldn’t voice Mario (though he does get several voice cameos for other characters), Chris Pratt did a much better job than I thought he might based on the first teaser trailer. Charlie Day provided a solid counterpoint as Luigi, and based on one specific scene I absolutely need a Luigi’s Mansion movie with Day reprising his role.

As I suspected, Anya Taylor-Joy killed it as Princess Peach. This is no damsel in distress that needs Mario to rescue her, this is a Peach who can more than take care of herself and look awesome doing it. I’m really hoping a sequel explores the backstory that was briefly hinted at for Peach as well.

Of all my favorites though, my absolute favorite has to be Jack Black as Bowser. The king of the Koopas was already one of my favorite video game characters, the movie just emphasized why that is. Bowser is equal parts funny and scary, as he should be, and is animated perfectly. I honestly don’t think anyone else could’ve played the character better. Jack Black pours his heart and soul into a performance that sells you very quickly on who Bowser is and what he wants. I’m certain Bowser will show up in future installments and I’m greatly looking forward to it.

I do have one minor criticism of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and that’s that the story does feel slightly rushed in places. It doesn’t harm the story per se, but for me at least, it created a few slightly awkward moments where you think “oh, that escalated quickly.” I’m sure 99% of the kids watching this movie won’t notice this, but the adults might. Given this movie was laying a broad foundation for sequels to come, I’m not too bothered by it.

All of this is to say that The Super Mario Bros. Movie is easily one of the best films I’ve seen in 2023 and is a clear contender for best animated film of the year. This is surely the first of many Mario films to come and I’m looking forward to them all.


The Super Mario Bros. Movie
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Armed with a PhD. in Musicology, Becky spends much of her time blogging about movie music on her blog Film Music Central when she isn't otherwise occupied watching movies and her favorite anime series.