Film Review – The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

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5th April in UK Super Mario Brothers Movie
The Super Mario Bros. Movie invites audiences to embark on a lively journey through the beloved Mushroom Kingdom. With a stellar voice cast featuring Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Jack Black, and Anya Taylor-Joy, the film promises an enchanting experience for both fans of the iconic video game franchise and newcomers. In this review, we will explore the movie’s strengths, including exceptional voice performances and humour, as well as its weaknesses, such as pacing issues, a predictable storyline, and a lack of depth.

One of the standout features of The Super Mario Bros. Movie is the remarkable voice acting delivered by the talented cast. Chris Pratt breathes new life into the iconic character of Mario, portraying his optimism and determination with infectious energy. Charlie Day’s portrayal of Luigi is endearing and offers a delightful contrast to Pratt‘s Mario. Jack Black shines as the villainous and often hilariously wicked Bowser, infusing the character with a unique blend of comedic timing and evil charm. Anya Taylor-Joy adds elegance and complexity to the role of Princess Peach, bringing depth to the character.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie manages to deliver moments of surprise and laughter throughout its duration. The comedic timing and chemistry between the characters are commendable, providing ample amusement for viewers of all ages. The humour ranges from slapstick physical gags to clever wordplay, successfully capturing the light-hearted spirit of the video game series. The movie goes beyond relying solely on nostalgia and introduces fresh comedic elements, making it accessible to a wider audience.

Visually, the film impresses with its stunning animation style, courtesy of Illumination. The Mushroom Kingdom springs to life with vivid colours, intricate character designs, and vibrant environments. The animation is fluid and dynamic, capturing the essence of the whimsical world from the Mario games. It’s a delight to witness the iconic characters depicted in such visually captivating detail, and the attention to recreating the Mushroom Kingdom is commendable.

For fans of the Super Mario Bros. franchise, the movie is a treasure trove of Easter eggs and references. From familiar power-ups to nods to classic levels, the filmmakers seamlessly incorporate these elements into the narrative, evoking a strong sense of nostalgia. The discovery of these hidden gems adds an extra layer of enjoyment for long-time fans, fostering a connection to the source material.

However, one of the film’s main drawbacks is its fast-paced nature. While the action-packed sequences maintain a high level of energy, they occasionally come at the expense of meaningful character development and emotional resonance. The breakneck speed at which the plot progresses may leave some viewers longing for more breathing room to connect with the characters on a deeper level.

Unfortunately, The Super Mario Bros. Movie falls into the trap of a predictable and formulaic storyline. The plot follows a traditional hero’s journey, lacking surprises or significant twists that would elevate the narrative. While the film attempts to introduce new elements and expand on the Mario universe, it ultimately settles into a familiar pattern that doesn’t fully capitalize on the rich potential of the source material.

Despite its entertaining nature, the film fails to delve deeply into the characters or explore complex themes. It primarily focuses on surface-level humour and action, leaving little room for emotional depth or character growth. While this approach may suit younger viewers and fans seeking a light-hearted adventure, it leaves a sense of missed opportunities to fully engage with the characters and their world. The movie could have benefitted from a more nuanced exploration of the relationships and motivations of its beloved characters, allowing for a more emotionally resonant experience.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie offers an enjoyable and visually captivating experience that will please fans of the franchise and provide a fun introduction for newcomers. Despite its flaws, the film’s voice performances, humor, and animation style make it a worthwhile watch.


Animation | 2023 | 10/ 24th July 2023 (UK) | Digital, 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, Universal Pictures| Dir: Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic | Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Armisen