Movie Review: ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ successful second take


Greyson Blaauw

The movie has grossed $518.1 million in the United States box office and is ranked fifth highest-grossing animated movie, surpassing “Toy Story 4.” The movie was obviously based on a very loved video game and with a cast that fit perfectly to each character, it almost wasn’t a surprise.

Greyson Blaauw, Reporter

The Mario franchise has been a major hit for video game players since the first game came out in October of 1985, according to Nintendo’s website. The franchise has grown greatly throughout the years, with many more games and even a couple movies. While the first Mario movie is not very well known, the new animated attempt at a Mario movie has been a big hit this year. Almost 30 years after the failed attempt at a Mario movie, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” has been met with mostly positive reactions. It is even the first movie in 2023 to surpass $1 billion in sales.

The movie was produced by Universal, and it came out on April 5, 2023. It starts off with Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) trying to become world-saving plumbers. Somehow the two brothers get sucked through a green tube, similar to the tubes in the Mario games, and get separated. Luigi is transported to Bowser’s territory, and Mario ends up in the Mushroom Kingdom, where he meets Toad (Keegan-Michael Key) and Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy). They learn about Bowser’s (Jack Black) plan to destroy the Mushroom Kingdom, and decide to team up to destroy him and get Luigi back.

The movie included multiple aspects from various games from the Mario franchise, including a mini level and karts. There was an assortment of power ups used, not just the big mushroom and the fire flower. However, the movie only had a small scene of Yoshi running around, and I wish they put more of the Yoshis into the actual storyline.

Before they left to ask the Kong Army for help, Peach tells Mario that he needs to run through and complete a course to prove he is ready. The course happened to be very similar to a level that could have appeared in one of the many games in the franchise. It included mystery blocks, Bullet Bills and other challenging aspects to test Mario. After he completes the course they head to the Kong Kingdom to get their army’s help. When they arrive, Mario is forced to fight Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen). The fight is pretty funny, Mario gets pretty beat up for a good while before he comes back and defeats DK and it was hilarious. Seth Rogen’s iconic laugh also fits DK so well.

Peach, Mario, Toad and The Kong Army take customizable karts almost exactly like the ones in the Mario Kart games down a rainbow road to get to the Mushroom Kingdom. Bowser ambushes this journey, and takes everyone hostage except for Peach and Toad who manage to escape. Mario and Donkey Kong are thrown off the road into the water below, where they are swallowed by a giant eel. When Bowser arrives at the Mushroom Kingdom behind Peach, he asks her to marry him. She agrees on the terms that he does not hurt the toads, and he takes her to the Dark Lands. This entire time, Luigi is caged above lava with all of Bowser’s other prisoners, including a funny but depressing blue star who made everyone even more miserable. The prisoners hate this guy because all he talks about is how death is the only good thing anymore, but he was funny in the way he was so happy the whole time.

When the wedding inevitably fails, Bowser launches a giant Bullet Bill. In an attempt to steer the bullet away from the Mushroom Kingdom, he sends it flying back into the pipe he first arrived from. This causes a reverse effect, and everything is sucked through the tunnel into Brooklyn, including Mario and his friends. Mario and Luigi then do everything in their power to fight back and send them back through the tunnel to save Brooklyn and finally be the heroes they have always wanted to be. 

The plot of the movie was a little fast and weird in the beginning. It started off with Mario and Luigi failing a plumbing job, and then the entire city of Brooklyn started to flood, but the two issues were not related to one another. When Mario and Luigi came back through the tunnel towards the end of the movie, the flooding wasn’t really an issue anymore but there was no saying how it got fixed or when. While the movie progressed, the plot slowed down and towards the end it kind of fit together more and made sense, except for the flood. 

There were some funny aspects of the movie, like the montage of watching Mario fail at the mini course, or when DK told Mario his dad was right about him being a joke. I wasn’t laughing the whole entire movie, but it was still pretty good and 10-year-old me would have flipped out.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5