The Super Mario Bros. Movie Review

Super Mario has been a part of my life since I played the Mario Bros arcade machine. I remember spending a good amount of quarters playing that game. When Mario and Luigi finally came home on the Nintendo Entertainment System I would have to go to my friend’s house to play the game. I never had a Nintendo game system in my home until I bought the Super Nintendo. I loved playing the Mario games and seeing how his world would expand in every game.

When growing up there were many iterations of Mario and Luigi. There were cartoons, books, an unusual movie, and countless games. Knowing that a new movie was coming out I was a bit hesitant but also excited to see it. I will say that The Super Mario Bros Movie is a breath of fresh air and Nintendo along with Illumination have bought something magical to the screen.

If you have ever played a Mario Bros game you are in for a visual treat. The movie looks and feels like a newer version of the video game. The attention to detail is incredible and the easter eggs hiding in the background and foreground are sure to put a smile on a gamer’s face. The plot of the movie is twofold: A story about two brothers and Bowser wanting to marry Princess Peach.

(from left) Mario (Chris Pratt), Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), and Toad (Keegan-Michael Key) in Nintendo and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic.

Yes, the plot is pretty simple but you really don’t need to have something too extreme in this movie. I will say that while many adult gamers might find the plot too simplistic I feel this movie is geared toward younger kids in hopes of making them life long Mario fans. For the adult gamers there are plenty of nods to other games in the Nintendo universe and to the original Mario Bros games. Anyone remember Jumpman?

The brothers are transported to a new world when they try to fix a plumbing issue in their city. During this journey they are separated and Mario’s goal is to find his brother and get back to their world. In this new world we meet Toad, who decides to help Mario on this quest and get the help of Princess Peach. Peach has her own problem to attend to and that is Bowser taking over all of the kingdoms and coming after her kingdom next. Enlisting Mario on her mission together they go get the Kong Army to join them in their fight.

Visiting Kong Island was one of the stand out moments of the movie for myself. In this scene we see Mario finally getting the hang of the world he is in and his fight with Donkey Kong is pretty epic. From the use of the Donkey Kong Rap to seeing familar Kong’s in the crowd, this scene is a lot of fun.

(from left) Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) in Nintendo and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic.

One of the great things about the movie is the incorporation of the video game elements into the scenes. There are a few moments where it looks like you are playing a side-scrolling Mario game that you just sit back and smile. From the use of the video game music to the power-ups, the game is sure to bring a smile to fans of the Mario video games. Speaking of the music, the themes from the games are incorporated into the score of the movie. It is pretty cool when you stop to listen and pick up the theme that’s playing during the movie. If you want a song to get stuck in your head, wait until you hear Jack Black sing a song to Princess Peach. For the older crowd, remember when Woody in Cheers sings a song to his girlfriend, Kelly? Yeah, it’s similar to that.

We don’t want to give too much away but this movie is a lot of fun. They do poke a little fun at their accents and how they dress, which is pretty funny! This is a great movie for the entire family. From the theme of family, believing in yourself, and never giving up, The Super Mario Bros Movie is a great film for all.

from left, centered) Bowser (Jack Black) and Kamek (Kevin Michael Richardson) in Nintendo and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic.

Final Thoughts: The Super Marios Bros Movie is a fun time for fans of the Nintendo game and for fans of animated movies. There are a lot of great nods to other games in the Nintendo library and the use of the game themes in the music is done in a fun way. The story is simplistic at most but it is a lot of fun and makes you want to replay a Mario game or two again. Make sure you stay for the two after-credit scenes.

Kid-Friendly: Yes, this film is very kid friendly. The storyline is pretty easy for kids to follow along and the bright and energetic colors are sure to keep the attention of the younger ones. There is one scene with skeleton Koopas that might scare younger kids.

Violence: There is animated violence within the movie. If you and your children have played the Mario Bros game then you have seen the type of violence in this film.

For the first time, the iconic global entertainment brands Illumination and Nintendo join forces to create The Super Mario Bros. Movie, a new, big-screen adventure starring one of pop culture’s most prominent plumbers of the past four decades.

Based on the world of Nintendo’s Mario games, the film invites audiences into a vibrant, thrilling new universe unlike any created before in an action-packed, exuberant cinematic comedy event.

While working underground to fix a water main, Brooklyn plumbers Mario (Chris Pratt; Jurassic World and The LEGO Movie franchises) and brother Luigi (Charlie Day; It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) are transported down a mysterious pipe and wander into a magical new world. But when the brothers are separated, Mario embarks on an epic quest to find Luigi.

With the assistance of a Mushroom Kingdom resident Toad (Keegan-Michael Key; The Lion King) and some training from the strong-willed ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom, Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy;The Queen’s Gambit), Mario taps into his own power.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie features an extraordinary comedic cast, including Jack Black (Jumanji films) as Bowser, Seth Rogen (Neighbors franchise) as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen (Portlandia, Saturday Night Live) as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson (American Dad!, Family Guy) as Kamek and Sebastian Maniscalco (Green Book) as Spike, plus a special voice appearance by Charles Martinet, who has voiced the characters of Mario and Luigi in the Super Mario games for more than 30 years.

The film is directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (collaborators on Teen Titans Go!, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies) from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel (Minions: The Rise of Gru, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part).

Scroll to Top