The Super Mario Bros. Movie Review


By: Mashnoov Chowdhury ‘24

Brooklyn plumbers Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) find their regular lives interrupted when they find a large green pipe leading to the Mushroom Kingdom. There they find Princess Peach (Anya-Taylor Joy) and Toad (Keegan Michael-Key) who need their help to defend the world from King Bowser (Jack Black) who seeks world domination. Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (both known for developing Teen Titans Go!) and produced by Illumination (known for Despicable MeSing, and The Secret Life of Pets) with the help of longtime Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto who designed the original Super Mario Bros. video game, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is an ode to gaming entertainment that is sure to enthrall any Nintendo fan with its nostalgic easter eggs and familiar cast, even if the story is a little lackluster. 

“I thought it was a fun movie that proved that video game movies can be fun and conscientious of their audience and source material,” said Jayden Garofalo-Colon ’24

The largest selling point for Illumination’s newest work is clearly the Super Mario Bros. franchise. The franchise began with Donkey Kong in 1981, whose titular antagonist is voiced by Seth Rogen in the newest film, despite the franchise primarily being known through Super Mario Bros. in 1985, the namesake home console game that touched the lives of millions. 

Super Mario Bros. is awesome,” said Brendan Spies ’23

From the original game, the series has spanned over 35 years, and its most famous elements remain at the forefront of the film. Power-ups, items in the games that aided Mario with new abilities, are strewn throughout the film, from the original Super Mushroom that turns Mario into a giant, to the newer Super Bell, that provides Mario with cat powers. On top of this, familiar enemies, locations, and references to other Nintendo games all serve to awaken nostalgia in any viewer, and although not all viewers will understand every easter egg, there are so many strewn throughout that make it more than likely for a fan to find a pleasant surprise. 

The largest complaint from viewers has overwhelmingly been the plot of the film, and although their complaints hold some merit, considering the film is primarily targeted at younger audiences, it is understandable that the film would serve more visual effects and gaming fanfare than any deeply emotional moments. Instead, the film opts for more action sequences, with beautiful animation courtesy of Illumination, new renditions of famous Nintendo game tracks, and other popular songs. Fans should expect to arrive for a visual masterpiece made for kids and their families, although any Nintendo fan will likely be delighted too.