The Super Mario Bros. Movie Jumps Into Theaters


Ruben Circelli

The Super Mario Bros. Movie released April 5th of this year!

On April 5th of this year, Illumination Studios released The Super Mario Bros. Movie to mass success, garnering over $377 million globally on its opening weekend. Despite its success in the box office, critics on Metacritic gave it an average of 46, Rotten Tomatoes’ critics giving it a 57, with the most common criticisms being the film’s weak plot and lack of emotional substance. However, audiences loved The Super Mario Bros. Movie, giving it a 8.7 and a 96 on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes respectively.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie starts with Mario and Luigi, voiced by Chris Pratt and Charlie Day, living their ordinary life as plumbers in Brooklyn. After a series of initial setbacks, the brothers find themselves in the Brooklyn sewers when they get pulled through a pipe to a mysterious world. When the two are separated, Mario must embark on a quest to save Luigi and the Mushroom Kingdom, recruiting friends along the way.

Unfortunately, that’s about as deep as the plot gets: a typical hero’s journey story from start to finish, which is to be expected from a movie about a game series which reuses the same plot for nearly each entry. Similar to the games, however, the plot isn’t the main appeal of the film; rather it’s the name itself coupled with the novelty of a Nintendo movie, with the most recent entry being a poorly received Mario adaptation well over thirty years ago.

If you’re a long-time Mario fan, there’s more than enough references to catch over several rewatches. It could be argued that the majority of the film’s charm comes from these easter eggs, ranging from Donkey Kong to Super Mario Odyssey, there’s references for Mario fans of all ages. In addition, there are small nods to some of Nintendo’s other popular franchises, including Punch-Out!, Donkey Kong, and Luigi’s Mansion.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a tough movie to rate simply because of my pre-existing biases as a Mario fan. The film relies on references and easter eggs to the point where it becomes a detriment to the film when viewed critically. However, when viewed as a fan, this movie is a charming homage to the series, which for many viewers is where the majority of the appeal comes from. I’d highly recommend this movie for any Mario or Nintendo fans who have yet to see it, but unfortunately, people who haven’t played very many Mario games might lose out on a majority of the appeal of the film.