Super Mario Bros. Movie Triumphs on the Big Screen

Nearly thirty years have passed since the release of the 1993 live-action “Super Mario Bros.” film. The result infamously cast a shadow over subsequent video game adaptations for years, with Nintendo themselves being hesitant to attempt more. 

Now, following on the successes of 2019’s “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” and the recent “Sonic the Hedgehog” films, an animated reboot of the franchise has arrived with “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”

The film follows Mario (voice of Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy) and his brother Luigi (voice of Charlie Day, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), who have started their own New York plumbing business after leaving the wrecking crew of their former boss Spike (voice of Sebastian Maniscalo). 

One night, a look at a burst water main in Brooklyn transports them to the Mushroom Kingdom. There, they must unite with Princess Peach (voice of Anya-Taylor Joy, “The Witch”) in order to stop Bowser (voice of Jack Black, “School of Rock”) from conquering their worlds with the magic Power Star.

While adapting video games has never been as easy as adapting other mediums to film, directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (who previously worked on “Teen Titans Go” and the 2011 version of “Thundercats”) have immense enthusiasm for the material and have made it work as a 92-minute animated action-comedy. 

Some allusions to the video games are obvious, with the sequences centered around Donkey Kong (voice of Seth Rogen) and racing karts on Rainbow Road being highlighted. Other Easter eggs are more subtle, rewarding eagle-eyed fans and planting the seeds of future adaptations (including an end credits scene that shall not be spoiled here).

With the film set to break new records, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is the powered-up reboot that fans of all ages have been waiting for. It’s highly recommended for viewing on the biggest screen possible.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” A Powered-Up Reboot

Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (Based on the video games by Nintendo)

Starring the voices of Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Anya-Taylor Joy, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key, and Kevin Michael Richardson with Charles Martinet, Fred Armisen, Khary Payton, Sebastian Maniscalo and introducing Juliet Jelenic

Rated PG

My Rating: 4.5 / 5