The Super Mario Bros Movie

The Super Mario Bros Movie
Original title:The Super Mario Bros Movie
Director:Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic
Running time:92 minutes
Release date:05 april 2023
While trying to repair an underground pipe, Mario and his brother Luigi, both plumbers, find themselves plunged into a new fairytale world through a mysterious conduit. But when the two brothers are separated, Mario embarks on a thrilling adventure to find Luigi. In his quest, he can count on the help of the mushroom Toad, an inhabitant of the Mushroom Kingdom, and the wise advice on combat techniques of Princess Peach, the determined warrior who heads the Kingdom. This is how Mario manages to mobilize his own forces to complete his mission.

Mulder's Review

Will the new film from Illumination Studios succeed in making us forget once and for all the failed Super Mario Bros adaptation by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, released in 1993 and in which Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo played the iconic Mario and Luigi Mario? Unfortunately, the answer will not be a resounding yes, but rather a moderate affirmation, as this film does not reach the perfection of some of the other Illuminations studio films, and it comes out as a film intended for a young audience and not for young adults who are passionate about video games and who grew up playing this iconic character on numerous game consoles. 

Mario Bros is basically a video game franchise created by Nintendo, and its main character, Mario, is one of the most recognizable characters in video game history. The original Mario Bros game was released in 1983 on arcade consoles and was the first game to feature Mario and his brother Luigi as the main characters. Of course, this character first appeared in 1981 in the cult game Donkey Kong, which has marked many generations of players as the game's premise was so addictive and the music of it a total success.  In the original Mario Bros. game, players controlled Mario or Luigi who moved through different levels filled with enemies, obstacles and power-ups. The goal of each level was to defeat all of the enemies by jumping on them or hitting them from underneath to flip them over, then knocking them off the screen. The game also introduced various power-ups, such as the Super Mushroom, which allowed Mario or Luigi to grow in size and strength, and the Fire Flower, which gave them the ability to shoot fireballs.  

The success of the original game led to numerous sequels and spin-off titles, including the hugely popular Super Mario Bros. series, which began in 1985 and is still in production today. The franchise has also spawned an animated television series, a live-action feature film and a wide range of merchandise. Mario Bros. has become an iconic part of popular culture and a memorable childhood memory for many gamers. For us, it was with our first ColecoVision console that we got to know this character and that we played with pleasure with different consoles such as the NES, SNES, Nintendo 64 or more recently the Switch. 

Adapting this character to the cinema was a difficult mission as its universe is so popular and it was necessary to set up a solid enough base to allow the creation of a new popular cinematographic saga. In this case, we would have liked it to be less linear and to be able to really surprise us, starting by avoiding reminding us of the previous live-action movie adaptation by taking up the idea of a parallel world in which Mario and Luigi will find themselves facing the terrible Bowser and helping Princess Peach. The two directors Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic previously collaborated together on the film Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018) , the former being the co-director and co-writer of that film and the latter the other co-writer. 

It is easy to understand that video game adaptations seem to be a successful theme following the one of adapting comics into imposing blockbusters. After the adaptations of video games like Resident Evil, Uncharted and other big budget series like The Last of Us, Super Mario Bros the film seems to trade the violent side of the above mentioned films and series to propose a general public adventure without excessive violence but still surfing on the wave of superheroes (which explains without any doubt the choice of these two directors) but also the presence of Brian Tyler to the music of the film, who is more accustomed to proposing music for blockbusters than for animated films like this one This film has at least the merit of paying tribute to the creator of Mario, Shigeru Miyamoto, and of including in the cast the main characters of the Mario universe, but also of making a memorable tribute to Mario Kart which should fill with happiness all those who have played the different versions of this cult and memorable game. In addition to Mario and Luigi, the cast includes Princess Peach, Bowser, Toad, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong (during a very successful scene) and many other characters such as the memorable character Luma Star, whose every sentence is destined to become cult. We can't advise you enough to wait until the end of the film to discover a cult character that we would have loved to have in this film as one of the central characters.

However, with more than forty years on the counter, there was enough to propose a mastered and inventive scenario and unfortunately here it seems to have been oversimplified despite a few winks perfectly brought and an impeccable animation allowing us to find in the cinema the Mario we know and with whom we grew up. The real surprise of the film is the character of Peach who is no longer a simple princess but an expert in fighting and of an uncommon agility to the point of training Mario to find his bearings during a very successful training scene. The lack of consistency in the scenario is felt by the too short duration of this one at barely ninety minutes. 

As far as the casting is concerned, we can't advise you too much to discover this movie in its original version as the presence of Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen is a perfect choice in spite of the fact that some people think that Chris Pratt is not the best possible choice to lend his voice to Mario. The French version that we discovered is very successful and in phase with the main characters

The fact remains that Super Mario Bros. Movie is a good animated movie that will allow to gather in the same audience of all ages and everyone will find something to spend a good time and for the games to rush to their Nintendo Switch to play again Mario Kart or other games with Mario Bros.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Directed by Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic
Screenplay by Matthew Fogel
Based on Mario by Nintendo
Produced by Chris Meledandri, Shigeru Miyamoto
Starring Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, Fred Armisen, Sebastian Maniscalco, Charles Martinet, Kevin Michael Richardson
Edited by Eric Osmond
Music by Brian Tyler, Koji Kondo
Production companies : Universal Pictures, Nintendo, Illumination
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates : April 1, 2023 (Los Angeles), April 5, 2023 (France, USA), April 28, 2023 (Japan)
Running time : 92 minutes

Seen on April 04, 2023 at the Grand Rex cinema (balcony)

Mulder's Mark: