by Pierre Young – Editor in Chief of The Metropolitan Student Newspaper
(Photo courtesy of Illumination)
Let’s-a-go in this review of one of the most anticipated movies of 2023. After 30 years, Super Mario Bros is back on the big screen. This may be one of the most surprisingly good video game adaptations of all time, as the Super Mario Bros movie made by Illumination (Despicable Me) had a lot of family fun aspects to the film. The movie stars Chris Pratt (Mario; Guardians of The Galaxy), Charlie Day (Luigi; It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Anya Taylor-Joy (Peach; The Queen’s Gambit), Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong; Knocked Up), Keegan-Michael Key (Toad; Key and Peele), and Jack Black (Bowser; School of Rock). They give lots of passion in their voices to sound just like they should.
The movie is first set in New York City where Mario and Luigi are originally from, and it was cool to have Mario’s family be a part of the story and show how the Mario Bros work as plumbers. The movie then takes us to an alternate universe which is the Mushroom Kingdom where Mario must save his brother Luigi from the clutches of Bowser. Along the way, he meets Princess Peach, Toad, and Donkey Kong to help him on his journey.
Chris Pratt’s voice surprised me with how good he was at Mario despite all the slander he’s gotten based on one trailer. Charlie Day was great at Luigi as he sounded just like I expected him to, and I realized that Chris Pratt and Charlie Day look like actual brothers! Not sure if that was a coincidence. The performance that stole the movie was the energetic and wild Jack Black, who gave it his all with the voice of Bowser. I thought his performance was what I expected Bowser to sound like – a video game villain. Black even sang songs for the movie soundtrack, and it was hilarious to see him sing about Princess Peach.
This movie was a love letter to long-time Mario fans filled with nostalgia with Easter eggs, from hearing lots of jingle game sounds from the Mario games to console sounds from earlier Nintendo Systems in the ’90s to early 2000s. The soundtrack is also a banger from Brian Tyler! He re-composed all the greatest hits from most of the Super Mario games we grew up with. This movie is great for family fun, and I enjoyed taking my nieces and nephew, as we rarely go see a movie as a family, and this was the perfect movie for kids to see. Mario is one of the most iconic video game characters of all time, and I can’t wait to see what the future will bring for future installments. I can’t wait to see more characters like Yoshi, Waluigi, and Wario and how they’ll be portrayed on the big screen.
(Photo courtesy of Pierre Young)