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Aaron Horvath

Michael Jelenic


Matthew Fogel


Chris Pratt (voice)

Anya Taylor-Joy (voice)

Jack Black (voice)

Charlie Day (voice)

Keegan Michael-Key (voice)

Seth Rogen (voice)

Fred Armisen (voice)



Produced by Illumination, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is the first big screen adaptation of the classic Nintendo video games since the 1993 live-action film, which was not much of a success. This new film, however, is quickly breaking records as one of the most profitable animated features of all time.

The Mario Brothers are introduced as living in Brooklyn, struggling to run their plumbing business. Mario shows his potential time and time again, and he's great at what he does, but he worries that he is letting his brother down, as does his family. When they discover a mysterious green pipe while trying to fix a flood in their neighborhood, they become absorbed by it and Mario is promptly sent to the Mushroom Kingdom. He is separated from Luigi who lands in a much more dangerous world ruled by the villainous turtle king Bowser, who is planning to take over the Mushroom Kingdom and marry Princess Peach, whether she likes it or not. It becomes up to Mario to prove himself, find his lost brother and help save the day.

It's very clear from the get-go that this isn't just a rushed cash-in as Illumination makes a genuine effort to stay as faithful to the source material as possible and give fans everything they've always wanted from a Super Mario movie. Indeed, it's hard to imagine a more appropriate cinematic take on the games: everything from the characters to the colorful worlds, the score, and the feel-good vibe is on point. They even find a way to make the platformer aspects of the game make sense in the story itself. But this isn't just an extended game cutscene as all the characters are fleshed out a bit, given genuine motivations and emotions.

Much was barked on social media about Chris Pratt being cast as Mario but he knocks it out of the park, as does the rest of the cast. Jack Black is hilarious as Bowser, Charlie Day is perfect casting as Luigi, as is Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Anya Taylor-Joy brings some strength and decorum to the Princess Peach character. The tone is very light and the jokes are mostly aimed at a younger audience so it's not always as funny as it could have been, but it makes up for that in charm. All the action scenes are exciting, the soundtrack is a bop, it's all very cute and the short running time is perfect as it leaves you wanting more, and promises to deliver just that.


I don't think I can recommend this enough to fans of the Mario games, but I suspect that I don't need to. This is a ridiculously fun rollercoaster ride through Nintendo's timeless universe which doesn't talk down to its audience, pays tribute to the classic video games and doesn't disappoint.

A joyful treat: don't miss it!

film & game reviews, the retro way.

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