Hollywood has been on a hot streak of redeeming itself from its previous terrible attempts at cinematic game adaptations with the release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie of 2023. Illumination, the animation studio behind Despicable Me and Sing has successfully captured the heart of the video games we grew up playing and offers a new adventure that turns out to be a lot of fun.
Storyline and Characters
The film opens with the evil Bowser taking control of the Dark Lands, and the humor works well while establishing Bowser as a force to be reckoned with. Mario and Luigi, two Italian-American plumbers in Brooklyn, are then sent to another world where Bowser imprisons Luigi, and Mario must team up with Princess Peach and Toad to save him. While the story feels thin and mostly strung together by a series of references to the games, it offers something for audiences young and old.
Pacing and Length
The movie is only 92 minutes long with credits, and when you have a movie to this scale, it really should have had more time to breathe and allow the sequences to take shape. The pacing is fast, but it still offers many laugh-out-loud moments and fan service.
Chris Pratt got some internet ridicule over Mario’s voice from the trailers that sounded a lot like, well, Chris Pratt. However, he is excellent in the movie and brings a perfectly appropriate Brooklyn accent to the character. Day and Joy are excellent as Luigi and Peach, but the rest of the cast outshines them. Black is phenomenal as Bowser, Key is unrecognizable as Toad, and Rogen brings his trademark voice and laughs to Donkey Kong.
Music and Animation
The Mario Kart sequence stands out, and the animation and character designs are incredible. While the film occasionally suffers from its abundance of overused ’80s rock songs, composer Brian Tyler uses the iconic theme music at the right moments.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie of 2023 is a successful video game adaptation that captures the heart of the source material. It offers a fun and entertaining experience for children and adults, with humor, bright colors, and a sense of adventure. While the pacing and length could have been improved, the voice cast, animation, and music make up for it. Fans of the video game will appreciate the numerous easter eggs and references throughout the movie. Overall, it’s a film that will leave you with wonderful moments.
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