Welcome to my review of the “Super Mario Bros” movie, which is a live-action version of the popular video game series. Fans of the game were looking forward to this movie, which came out in 1993, but it didn’t live up to their hopes. The movie is directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel.
This movie was a big change from the popular video game. It had an all-star cast, including Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, and Dennis Hopper. Reactions to it were, at best, mixed. So, was the Super Mario Bros movie a fun and entertaining romp or a disappointing adaptation that missed the mark? Let’s jump in and see.
Super Mario Bros Movie Review
The Super Mario Bros. franchise has over 20 games to its name and is still growing, so there is a ton of iconography that filmmakers may use to excite viewers. Use a lot, say directors Horvath and Jelenic. Brian Tyler, the film’s composer, cleverly incorporates Koji Kondo’s original Nintendo music.
These once-chirping tunes have been given an orchestral treatment, giving them a vast cinematic grandeur that works well whether the brothers are diving into a perilous sewer, celebrating a win at a castle, or going up against the evil Bowser.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie features an ensemble cast led by Chris Pratt’s Mario, Charlie Day’s Luigi, Anya Taylor-Princess Joy’s Peach, Jack Black’s Bowser, and Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong, in addition to Toads, Koopa Troopas, Goombas, Dry Bones, King Boo, Bullet Bill, Cheep Cheep, Shy Guys, and other characters.
y’all gotta stop listening to these critics they just hate fun https://t.co/d7TS8PnlfM
— kira 👾 (@kirawontmiss) April 4, 2023
There are also well-known backgrounds and gameplay-based action moments, like a frantic vehicle pursuit on Rainbow Road. Nevertheless, not every element is included with attention. In a wandering montage that feels like a joyless checklist, there are many creatures who are overlooked for every satisfyingly spooky moment with a resurrecting Dry Bones.
The action scenes are the most agonizing because, despite numerous allusions to the games, they never quite capture the exhilarating rush of playing them. There is no way that the valiant brothers will actually lose in a children’s movie that is so garishly colored it is an actual eyesore. Hence, the outcomes do not win or lose or life or death. It is blandly inevitable.
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The Super Mario Bros Movie Sticks to Cliches
The storytelling is utterly devoid of inventiveness. The screenplay, credited to Mark Fogel, primarily relies on tiresome clichés taken from fantasy and superhero films. The character of Mario is transformed into an MCU hero. When a stroke of luck grants him the opportunity and superpowers—in this case, in the form of mushroom power-ups—he is a scrappy underdog who is eager to prove himself.
Naturally, there is a humorous training sequence in which the protagonist is seen honing his new abilities. His adversary will be huge, nasty, and hard-shelled in contrast to him, who is thin-skinned (and sensitive to being called “small”). The Super Mario Bros. Movie even uses the MCU cliche of having the decisive fight take place in New York City, where a hero is praised despite wreaking havoc on his own land.
In Brooklyn, Mario’s extended Italian-American family screams at him in stereotypical outbursts over pasta, telling him he’s a loser. Fogel throws in a tiresome narrative there for good measure. Ever wished Mario had a problem with his father? If so, The Super Mario Bros. Movie will give you that, so congrats.
In addition, the romance between Mario, Peach, and Bowser is based on the traditional story of a white knight saving a beautiful princess from an evil dictator. Although she is more adept at the training track than Mario, Peach is admittedly more of a strong female character in the film version and will willingly move aside to allow him to do most of the daring-do. The Super Mario Bros. Movie provides Peach with one or two action scenes before calling it a day, in contrast to Adventure Time, which adopted this trope and gradually compounded it.