‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ levels up light-hearted laughs


“The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” released on April 5, is the highest-grossing film of 2023.

Lauren Miranda, Features Editor

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” took the box office by storm when it hit the theaters earlier this month. The movie, released on April 5, is already the highest-grossing video game film of all time, standing at an impressive $909 million. But that comes as no surprise when considering the millions of Nintendo fans, young and old, the games entertain.

In this version, directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, New York City plumbers Mario (Chris Pratt) and his cowardly brother Luigi (Charlie Day) are transported into the pixelated world of Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), Toad (Keegan-Michael Key) and the villainous Bowser (Jack Black). When Luigi is captured by Bowser during his scheme of world domination and Princess Peach infatuation, Mario and Peach team up to save Luigi and stop Bowser from destroying Mushroom Kingdom.

This colorful and charming rendition definitely caters to knowledgeable Mario super-fans, as the details from the game are nearly identical to the magical Mario universe projected on the big screen. From mushroom power-ups and super stars to question mark boxes and go-karts, all recognizable earmarks sound and function like they’re supposed to. Even Mario, although not sporting the thick Italian accent heard in the games, still manages to include trademark catchphrases like “Mamma Mia” and “it’s-a me.”

The movie also excels at incorporating other memorable aspects of the game into the on-screen adaptation, specifically more fan-favorite characters. Kamek (Kevin Michael Richardson), the witch-like broom-flying turtle, was Bowser’s right-hand man, and other members of his army included Koopa Troopas, Goombas and Bob-ombs. Mario also recruits Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) and his army of go-kart driving monkeys to fight against Bowser as well, so both sides of the battle have their fair share of famous backup.

Additionally, the animation is top tier. The colorful and vibrant quality of the movie perfectly matches the bright universe curated in the games, although nothing less would be expected when it comes to an animation produced by the multi-credited Universal Pictures.

Although the movie wins on looks and nostalgia, no deeper story line is found. All plot sequences are super predictable and the dialogue remains cheesy and surface level. But for a PG rated movie marketed towards young children, complex story lines and intricate dialogue should not be expected. While this is definitely a great movie to enjoy with young family or Mario super-fans, it may not keep the interest of most viewers outside those marketed demographics.

If you are looking for something to do this weekend, call up your friends and in your best Mario impression say “let’s-a go” and watch “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”