Millennials would vividly remember playing the “Super Mario Bros.” game when they had tiny little legs and couldn’t stop running around like Mario. It was a part of their childhoods.
The Super Mario 2023 movie, a computer-animated adventure film based on Nintendo’s popular video game franchise, would bring back memories. It tells the origin story of Mario and Luigi, two brothers who are plumbers in Brooklyn and who get transported to a fantasy world where they have to save Princess Peach from the evil Bowser.
The film features an all-star voice cast, including Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong.
The film was directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic and written by Matthew Fogel. Universal Pictures, Illumination, and Nintendo produced it.
The plot – Super Mario Bros Movie
The film is a fun and colourful adaptation of the beloved video game series, with plenty of nods and references to the games and their characters.
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While working underground to fix a water main, Brooklyn plumbers Mario and brother Luigi are transported down a mysterious pipe and wander into a magical new world. But when the brothers are separated during the transport, Mario embarks on an epic quest to find Luigi.
With the assistance of a Mushroom Kingdom resident Toad and some training from the strong-willed ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach, Mario taps into his own power.
What we think
We can do better with adaptations of iconic games.This critic
On a positive note, the animation is vibrant and expressive, capturing the whimsy and charm of the Mushroom Kingdom and its inhabitants. The voice actors do a great job of bringing their characters to life, with Pratt and Day having good chemistry as the brothers, Black being hilarious as the villainous Bowser, and Key stealing the show as the musical Toad.
This is the second attempt at a big-screen adaptation of the game franchise, after the unsuccessful “Super Mario Bros.” (1993), but this time, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” gets many things about Mario right.
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For instance, the Mushroom Kingdom, the magical land in which the film is largely set, resembles the Mushroom Kingdom of the games. Fireflowers, superstars and question mark boxes all look, sound and function like they’re supposed to.
It’s clear that Nintendo didn’t want to repeat the mistakes of that 1993 Super Mario adaptation.
It’s a nostalgic escapade for adults, and a fun time for children.This critic
The film is not without its flaws, however.
Some fans may find the casting choices controversial or mismatched, especially for iconic characters like Mario and Peach. Also, some jokes may fall flat or feel forced, especially when they rely on pop culture references or meta-humour.
Some plot points may seem rushed or contrived, especially regarding the brothers’ transition from Brooklyn – through a rush of pipes – to the Mushroom Kingdom. Also, some action scenes came across as too chaotic or noisy, especially when they involved multiple characters or vehicles.
To be plain, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” doesn’t completely reflect the franchise’s creativity. It feels like a ChatGPT-produced movie after the AI tool received data and imagery from the games.
What do the numbers say?
As of April 20, having spent two weeks in Nigerian cinemas, The Super Mario Bros. Movie grossed ₦39.2 million. But, that’s not the global story, because the film has joined the billionaire’s club.
“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is officially the first film of the year to cross the coveted $1 billion milestone at the global box office.
As of April 30, 26 days after its release, the animated video game adaptation grossed $490 million in North America and $532 million internationally. It’s only the fifth movie of the pandemic times to join the $1 billion club, following “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Jurassic World Dominion” and “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
Watch or skip?
The Super Mario 2023 movie is a solid and entertaining animated film that appeals to fans and newcomers to the video game franchise. It has a lot of humour, heart, and adventure, and it pays tribute to the legacy and influence of Mario and his friends.
It is one of the best video game adaptations ever made, and one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time.
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