Review: The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Everyone knows who Mario and Luigi are, thanks to the nostalgic video game franchise that was founded by Nintendo in 1985. They now return to the big screen in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, for all their fans to enjoy. 

This isn’t the first time Mario has been on the big screen. A live action film,Super Mario Bros, was released in 1993 and starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo.

Leguizamo, who played Luigi in the 1993 movie, voiced his displeasure (along with others) on the voice actors. “They could’ve included a Latin Character,” he said. “I was groundbreaking and they stopped the groundbreaking.” He criticized producers for their casting adding: “They messed up. They messed up the inclusion, they disincluded.” There was also a lot of controversy surrounding the voice actors, such as Chris Pratt voicing Mario and Charlie Day voicing Luigi. I believe he’s right for wanting to stand up for Latin actors and give them an opportunity to be recognized as the talented actors they are. With all this in mind, despite the controversy, I still think the actors did a great job voicing the characters. But it would have felt more authentic and well represented if they had cast Italians who have an authentic accent since the brothers are Italian. But overall I feel like the film still did well with the current voice actors. 

I was excited to see whether the movie would be worth watching based on all the hype it had received on social media. Since I was little I used to play the New Super Mario Bros. on the Wii game that was released in 2009. I’d play it with my cousins after school or during our free time and we’d always compete against each other and see who got closer to completing the levels. My dad has always been a video game lover since he was a kid in the early 90s playing at the arcade on the machines and that’s where I learned about older games because of him. And I can gladly say that the movie exceeded my expectations. 

As the film began, the first thing that caught my attention was how vivid and colorful the world in the film was, which made it seem magical in a sense. This was the most beautifully animated movie I’ve ever seen. Just like the movie poster that shows lots of color and vibrancy, that’s exactly what I expected and it delivered. 

The audience gets an in-depth look into the home of the brothers and their family that as an audience hasn’t really been seen before. So it was nice to see that they included them and new characters as well. During a family dinner scene, it shows a typical Italian family enjoying their dinner and speaking with their Italian accents. Mario and his father have an identical resemblance and Mario just wants to make his father proud and show him that he can be successful doing what he loves. Even though the family scene is very brief, we are still able to get an insight into Mario and Luigi’s personal life and gain a better understanding of their beginnings.  

While the movie mainly revolves around Mario and his side of the story, the brothers struggle to become a successful plumbing company and try to prove themselves to their family and a rival plumber. While trying to save the city of Brooklyn during a flooded street situation, they get misled into the sewers where they find a green pipe that leads to an alternate world. Usually, Mario is the one saving Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) with the help of his brother and friends, but now Mario, with the help of Princess Peach and Toad (Keegan-Michael Key), are the ones saving Luigi from perishing into the pit of lava in Bowser’s kingdom.

I loved seeing how close the brothers were and I believed it really helped the audience truly understand their unbreakable bond. However, the plot of this movie seemed to be a typical one as many other movies/stories in the past. The hero faces a challenge and goes through character development in order to prove their doubters wrong and rise up to succeed.

I truly valued the way the movie kept the original video game’s authenticity. It included elements that as an audience member and fan you’d expect to see and remember. For example, there’s a scene where Princess Peach shows Mario how to use a powerup and she uses the mushroom powerup. Another cool scene was seeing the courses in 3D instead of its usual 2D world form. That’s another aspect of this movie that makes people want to go see it. 

I really enjoyed this movie and I would definitely recommend it for anyone to go watch. I know kids will for sure enjoy it,since everyone knows and loves Mario and Luigi. I liked seeing little kids and even adults wearing their Super Mario Bros merch, entering the theater to watch their favorite video game characters. Through this movie they’ll gain a new understanding of the characters and their story. I’d give this movie an honest 9/10 rating. It’s got that heartwarming, dream team plot going for it and it’s a movie that will continue to be loved for many years to come.