Hey gang, Valkor here. I can count on one hand just how many video games successfully crossed over into film – just one hand! Off the top of my head, there's the live-action Tekken film (not great, but watchable), Mortal Kombat (1995), Pokemon: Detective Pikachu, Sonic the Hedgehog, and even Monster Hunter was a fun flick. Out of the umpteen video game films released, it's crazy how many good ones there are. Well, it's time to add another hand into the mix because the latest video game to film release, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, is an animated delight not just for fans new to the series but definitely for us old-timers who started our gaming journey with these two brothers!
The Super Mario Bros Movie is a fast-paced adventure that blends three stories into one delightful film. Maybe not three. More like two and a half. We kick things off with Mario (Chris Pratt) and his brother Luigi (Charlie Day) as they attempt to make a name for themselves by going out on their own, to become Brooklyn's finest plumbers. One night, when a water main break causes major flooding in the city, Mario and Luigi believe this is the chance they have been waiting for to demonstrate their expert plumbing skills. Instead, the duo gets sucked into a pipe, taken to the mushroom kingdom and are soon separated – Mario is taken to the Mushroom Kingdom ruled by Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), and Luigi is sent to the Dark Lands, run by Bowser (Jack Black). So, what about these three stories? We have Bowser, who wants to marry the princess. Mario, who teams up with Peach to rescue Luigi and save the Mushroom Kingdom. And then there's poor Weegee, trapped in Bowser's prison with no way out. But what happens during his captivation is pretty funny stuff. The film takes you through worlds fans familiar with the franchise will recognize, such as a Smash Bros. World, Rainbow Road from Mario Kart, and a bunch of platformer scenarios, to name a few. And that's only a taste of what you can expect with this film, as there are TONS of easter eggs strewn throughout (Kid Icarus, Punch Out, the GameCube startup music, the Theme song from the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, and so much more). If you want to see them all, you'll need multiple viewings. But I think it's worth it!
The Super Mario Bros. Movie also features a mid and a post-credit scene; The first has to do with Bowser singing a rendition of his “Peaches” song that he sang mid-film. And the second gives us a clue as to who'll make an appearance in the second film, should there be a second film. And I really hope there is as this first animated outing was a blast! However, I'm getting ahead of myself. So let's dive in with the TOV Breakdown.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a fan's dream come true! Ever since the release of the 1993 train wreck of a live-action film, all we ever wanted was a proper take on the Mario franchise. And now, in 2023, our wish has been granted as the new CG animated film that is pure delight! The story is simple yet fitting for a Mario adventure. And because it moves along so quickly, you won't realize the movie is done until it is. Do you want to talk about fast? Prepare your butts for the Mario Kart scenes, which run at blistering speeds! And you want such a scene to be “fast and furious”! The lack of an explanation for why certain things—like the power-ups—work the way they do is what I appreciate most about the film. They simply work! And there's no need to go into detail further than that. The animation is beautiful, with plenty of eye candy. And as I mentioned above, there are tons of easter eggs; So much so that multiple viewings are in order. Thankfully, the film is far from boring with lots of edge-of-your-seat action and hefty doses of comedy. The voice acting was spot-on awesome; When it was announced that Chris Pratt would provide the voice of Mario, he received a lot of backlashes. However, after seeing the film, I feel he surpassed all of my expectations. It wouldn't surprise me if he is tapped to voice the character in a future game. Next, we have Jack Black as Bowser, which was another perfect casting choice! That freaking "Peaches" song had me chuckling throughout the film. And it didn't help my sides when he sang it again mid-credits. The rest of the cast also performed well, with props to Keegan-Michael Key as the voice of Toad. The next film needs more of you, my dude! Overall, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has won me over! And I can't wait to see how they'll work Yoshi into the next film. Regardless, I'm “super” excited for the next one!
Having Luigi sidelined for a good chunk of the film is a missed opportunity. Why not have him escape at least once, and play out a scene from Luigi's Mansion? Poor Weegee can't catch a break!
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is currently making its theatrical run. But we can expect an announcement on what streaming service we'll find the film soon enough. Until then, if you're a fan of all things Mario, then you'll want to check this out ASAP. The film is a ton of fun, with a captivating story, a fantastic cast, and plenty of action and nostalgia to keep anyone's interest. I highly recommend it. Out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving The Super Mario Bros. Movie a 4.5!