There’s been a lot of talk over the last few months about whether Chris Pratt was the correct choice to portray the role of arguably the biggest video game mascot of all time, Mario.
There are a lot of questions about whether the film was going to stay true to the Nintendo mascot or if they were going to try to update things for modern audiences.
Everyone remembers the horrendous 1993 live-action adaptation of the Mario movie that not only bombed at the box office but is regarded as one of the worst video game movies of all time. Some people go as far as labeling it as one of the worst films ever made.
When looking at the 2023 animated version of the Super Mario movie there’s one of two things that you can hear that would mean positive vibes for the new movie. One, the film clearly doesn’t have a very high bar to clear terms of fill quality when you compare it to its predecessor. Secondly and more importantly, if your film is hated largely by mainstream critics, it probably means you’re in the right direction.
‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ begins by highlighting the Italian-American plumbing brothers known as Mario and Luigi. The duo has recently started a struggling plumbing business in Brooklyn. Their family disapproves of Mario’s decision to leave his steady job under his antagonistic ex-employer Spike so Mario and Luigi get the idea of going underground to fix a massive water leak as a means to promote their business.
However, when they get down there, they are sucked into a Warp Pipe and separated in two different worlds. Mario arrives in the mushroom kingdom but finds out that his brother is in danger of being kidnapped by Bowser, a tyrannical ruler who is obsessed with Princess Peach.
Mario runs to Peach in hopes of getting help saving his brother but it turns out that Mario is going to need more help than he realizes.
There are going to be two different groups who go to watch the Mario movie. The first group of people have been fans of Mario for the last 4 decades and want to see if the film is a more faithful representation of the franchise than the 1993 film.
The other group of people who are going to watch this movie is 9-year-olds who are being taken to the film with their parents. If you are in those two groups then you’re likely going to enjoy the film a lot.
The film is full of fan service and references to multiple Mario-related games that many fans of Mario are going to identify right away. A lot was made about Chris Pratt not sounding exactly like the Title Character however fans are not going to notice a big difference between the way that Pratt voices Mario just like they won’t notice how Charlie Day voices Luigi.
You can tell that Nintendo was heavily involved in the making of this movie because they were not going to allow Hollywood to do their own modern adaptation of the film which would have angered their fan base and alienated people from potential Mario projects in the future.
Because Hollywood was kept on a leash the film is straightforward for Mario movie but it won’t appeal to anyone outside of the two demographics mentioned earlier. But with that said this is a film for families and for fans of the franchise, and for those people, there isn’t much to dislike about this movie.
For normal fans, the film can be a bit dry and not as exciting as it probably should be but you also have to accept that the film is in particular for you in that regard.
The Super Mario Bros movie is a fine film but it’s just simply isn’t anything more than that. If anything this movie proves that Universal Studios has completely overtaken Disney as the new king of animation.
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