As a lover of video games and the Nintendo brand with its many consoles, my anticipation was high for The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Yay! I can’t wait to see a film featuring my beloved video game characters including Mario, Luigi, Bowser. Unfortunately, my expectations were not fulfilled. There is a fine line between nostalgia and faithfulness in a project based on a video game character. That “line” involves thoroughness, and The Super Mario Bros. Movie couldn’t effectively establish action scenes or find clarity. The film simply jumps into a mode as if the audience is about to play a video game, and honestly, it’s more of that than a real movie.
In the film Mario is voiced by Chris Pratt, Princess Peach is voiced by Anya Taylor-Joy, Luigi is voiced by Charlie Day, Bowser is voiced by Jack Black, Donkey is voiced by Seth Rogen, and Cranky Kong is voiced by Fred Armisen. All are great voices in entertainment, but ones who do not define characterizations of good or bad guys by nature. Everyone’s voices seem on the feminine side, but that is beside the point. Therefore, I will continue my elaboration on the plot of this film even though it is fairly dry. The representations of Mario and Luigi are just the same as the video games, i.e., two brothers who are partners in crime. In the film, however, they own a plumbing business that goes awry. Shortly after a plumbing mistake, Mario and Luigi find themselves in Mushroom Kingdom with Princess Beach. There is Bowser who is evil and destined to make Princess Beach his true love, but Mario and Luigi play the good guys who will protect Princess Beach along with Mushroom Kingdom. Overall, the plot is generic and bland.
I went to the movie expecting a grandeur of nostalgia. While there is some nostalgia, it’s not in the form of cinematic brilliance. I felt the movie suffered an absence in foundation.There is no real setup, a lack of writing, the action just happens, and the film is rushed. Although there are some cool technicalities, they’re presented purely at fast speed with excitement that does not rise to awesome. The films could use more “awesomeness.” There could have been interestingfascinations to make The Super Mario Bros. Movie dazzle. But whatever the film’s directors tried to do for its audience did not “dazzle me.”
The one consistent element in the movie that did keep my attention was how much it reminded me of the many video games featuring Mario and Luigi. There are moments that incorporate Mario Kart, Luigi’s Mansion, Super Smash Bros., Mario Party—which represent franchising to the fullest. This is also where fond memories of Nintendo reside for fans around the world. Many moments feature Mario and Luigi on their adventures through their various universes.
Still, the pacing is not in tune which results in a true mess of disorganization. In the end, the movie does take its franchise wonders technologically seriously and has some scenes of joy, despite lacking qualities that would make it a successful film. I give The Super Mario Bros. Movie two stars.