Super Mario Bros. Movie Review

Poster for Super Mario Bros. Movie

Universal Pictures

Poster for Super Mario Bros. Movie

SPOILER ALERT – If you are in any way interested to watch the Super Mario Bros. Movie and you haven’t already, DO NOT SCROLL DOWN!!!

The movie is not good.

Ugh, I guess I have to write more about it. The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which premiered on April 5th, 2023 is an animated movie by Illumination Studios and Nintendo. Let me just get out of the way that I’m not hating on this movie because it’s an animated movie, and “animated movies are for kids”. Puss in Boots 2, Encanto, and Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse are all great movies. Anyway, the Mario Movie is a turd. Let’s start off positive though, shall we?

The animation was really vibrant. I felt immersed in this world and the characters surrounding it. Probably the most viral video regarding the Mario Movie was the casting announcement. Everyone who’s anyone remembers their reaction to Jack Black Bowser. Shockingly enough, the casting department did great! Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Seth Rogan, Keegan Michael Key, and of course, Jack Black all did great. Call me crazy, but I say Jack Black’s “Peaches” is better than the Justin Beiber song by the same name. I will admit that it is one of the best movies Illumination has made! It’s also a 3/10 movie. Saaaaaad.

A ton of the praise I’ve heard for this movie sounds something like this:
“I really loved rainbow roads design it made me think of those times I fell in Mario kart Wii and always ended last 😭” – Elizabeth, 5 stars (Google Reviews)
“(The movie) transported me back to my childhood with all the little nostalgic Easter eggs and it perfectly captures the vibe of the games.” -Luke Rota, 5 stars (Google Reviews)
You get it. Nostalgia. People who love Mario or have fond memories of Mario have seen the Mario Movie. I see this playing a role into why critics, who get paid to criticize movies, give the Mario Movie a bad review, and why the general public has good things to say about it. The general public goes to the movie for the nostalgia, and it blinds them from the all-over-the-place, poorly written plot. The fact that this is one of Illumination’s best projects is a little sad, because it’s so dependant on nostalgia. Oh yeah, the plot.
Mario and Luigi’s relationship doesn’t make much sense. When the brothers get separated in the pipes, they say to each other, “We will be okay as long as we’re together!” This quote is regularly repeated throughout the movie. Then they get separated, and in the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario is doing great without Luigi. He beats the crud out of Seth Rogan! Then the real-world climax happens, and the writers kind of had to have Luigi do something, because they kind of sidelined him for 50 minutes. So they have him block Bowser’s fire breath with a manhole so Mario could get the super star. Mario was already outrunning the fire breath, he didn’t need Luigi. Basically, the whole movie could’ve happened without Luigi.
The following are other smaller issues I have with the movie.
Like many other Illumination movies, there are a lot of unnecessary, tiresome 80’s songs. Take On Me, Mr. Blue Sky, and No Sleep Till Brooklyn are all good songs, but they have no business in the saving-plumber-brother-from-fire-breathing-turtle movie.
The pacing is all over the place. There was much more action than adventure, and even then there wasn’t that much action. There just wasn’t much in the movie.
Every Italian stereotype. All of them.

In the end, the Super Mario Bros Movie was a massive disappointment in my eyes. Most people disagree with me, but if you do, please write a 5 paragraph essay about how incredibly flawless this movie is.

Local Opinions
“I thought it was a great movie, incorporating parts of the original and more recent games with the newer style of entertainment. 9.5/10.” – Pascal S.
“It was very… bright.” Sofi A.
“A fast-paced, nostalgic romp.” – Ms. Monaco