[REVIEW] ‘The Super Mario Bros Movie’ or How Did I Like ‘Minions 2’ More Than This?

I pride myself on the fact I keep an open mind as a critic and give everything a fair shot. This was perhaps no mare demonstrated than in last year’s Minions: The Rise of Gru that I had little to no interest in and got super sick of hearing with its long delay but I actually ended up enjoying! Go figure! Particularly the scene with the Minions flying the airplane made me laugh, and I couldn’t deny I had a good time with the film. I say all this to point out I wasn’t out to get The Super Mario Bros Movie like some might claim. I wanted it to be good. I was excited for it. I even wore my Super Mario Bros t-shirt to the screening.


Unfortunately there’s not much praise I can give to The Super Mario Bros Movie. At best it’s an ok watch for little kids who aren’t as demanding on plot or dialogue but I bet it will be quickly forgotten by them. There’s certainly no scene as memorable as the plane scene in Minions 2. I was really hopeful Illumination would use this property as a way to push themselves visually and story-wise much like Sony did with Into the Spiderverse or DreamWorks with The Bad Guys and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish but they didn’t. The animation is fine but nothing memorable and the story is bland and boring.

I know some people were nervous about Chris Pratt cast as Mario with Charlie Day as Luigi but honestly they are fine. The problem is the script doesn’t give them anything engaging to do. In fact, the 2 brothers are separated for most of the movie and Luigi is imprisoned literally giving him nothing to do. Most of the plot revolves around Bowser wanting to marry Princess Peach I guess because she’s pretty. We are given no other reason. What a weird plot-point for a children’s movie?

My favorite part of the movie was the music by Brian Tyler on the original theme by Koji Kondo. It cleverly mixes the iconic theme with a new score to add just the right touch to the action.

The animation is bright and colorful and looks nice but nothing like the action in Puss in Boots: The Last Wish to take it to another level. If they had told me this is a straight to streaming release I wouldn’t have been surprised. There is no wow factor. Just the typical bland Illumination animation. It bums me out because I really think this was their chance to make something special and they chose to go the thoroughly average route instead.

If you want to see a basic animated film for kids The Super Mario Bros Movie I suppose will suffice but if you are hoping for something fresh, exciting, creative or funny I’m afraid you’ll have to look elsewhere. Believe it or not Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is still playing at theaters near me. Just see that instead…

4 out of 10

Frown Worthy

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