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Review: ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ is a smash-hit success

I saw “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” at Celebration Cinema and it’s a good time to be had. 

After being sucked into a mysterious pipe from his home turf in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mario is thrusted into an exciting adventure: To rescue his brother Luigi from the fearsome Bowser as he plans to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom and take Princess Peach as his bride in marriage. It’s a movie with lots of humor, action and of passion and emotion pumped into it. 

This movie was clearly made with lots of love and care for the Super Mario franchise, as there are references everywhere in this movie. As a nod to “Donkey Kong 64,” for example, D.K. makes his cinema debut to his theme rap.  

Chris Pratt’s Mario is a miracle as his version of charcter’s voice is almost exactly how you would picture Mario to sound like. Pratt nails the Italian accent; I loved his version and I think he ended up being great casting for the character. 

The voice performances for Luigi and Bowser were also standouts. Charlie Day as Luigi was perfect, and with some of the imagery in the movie makes me yearn for a “Luigi’s Mansion” movie. Day’s frantic and nervous delivery of Luigi is exactly how the character should speak, and it was great hearing his voice for Luigi.

Jack Black as Bowser was phenomenal, and the piano rock-ballad that Bowser performs in the movie is both hilarious and catchy. In that moment, making him sound like Axel Rose but as a turtle-dragon was a brilliant choice. The song was laugh-out-loud funny and oddly sweet. 

Anya Taylor-Joy and Keegan-Michael Key are both good as Princess Peach and Toad, but nothing about their performances stood out to me. Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong was also a fun addition, as he has some cool scenes with Mario.

This movie also branches out the lore of the Mario world. It includes a look into Mario and Luigi’s everyday life as plumbers, including seeing their family, which has never been done before. 

It was exciting witnessing all the different power-ups from various games being used. I also loved seeing all the classic locations from the games, like Bomb-omb Battlefield and the Ice Kingdom. The penguins were especially cute and funny. 

Though this movie has a lot of positives, there are some negatives too. This movie has a neck-breaking fast pace to it that hurts the movie tremendously. All the emotional parts of the movie happen way too fast, and it didn’t allow me to connect with the characters and feel any of the emotional beats properly. 

The movie’s story is pretty bare bones, but that’s nothing new for the Mario franchise, so it didn’t bother me too much. I also didn’t like that Mario and Luigi barely spent time together. I really wanted to feel their brotherhood and their bond, but I didn’t get that which was a disappointment. 

If an extra 15-20 minutes were added to flesh out the characters, that would have strengthened the movie for me. Also there are way too many pop songs played during certain sequences. 

I’m just glad we now have a decent Mario movie. Overall it’s a fun film and perfect to take your kids to. There are two post-credit scenes, so make sure to stay through the credits.

It’s a solid 8/10 for me.

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