Sunday 16 July 2023

REVIEW: The Super Mario Bros. Movie - Starring Chris Pratt

Review by Jon Donnis
I had been waiting for ages to watch The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and then circumstances prevented me from seeing it till it was released on digital, gutted I had to wait so long, but glad I finally got to watch.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is surprisingly based on the Nintendo Video game franchise, and they really do a great job of using all aspects from the various games, to tell the story within the film.

Italian-American brothers Mario and Luigi have recently started a plumbing business in Brooklyn, much to the disapproval of their father and the scorn of their ex-employer, Spike. One day, while watching the news, they catch sight of a significant water main leak. Driven by their sense of responsibility, Mario and Luigi embark on a mission to fix it. However, as they go underground, they unexpectedly find themselves being sucked into a Warp Pipe, separating them in the process.

Mario (Chris Pratt) lands in the Mushroom Kingdom, a realm ruled by the graceful Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy), while Luigi (Charlie Day) finds himself in the perilous Dark Lands, under the malevolent reign of the evil Koopa king, Bowser. Bowser (Jack Black) harbours a wicked plan: to force Princess Peach into marriage and, if she refuses, unleash the destructive power of the Super Star to obliterate the Mushroom Kingdom. To exert pressure on Mario, whom he perceives as a rival for Peach's affections, Bowser imprisons Luigi, using him as a bargaining chip.

In the midst of this chaos, Mario encounters a helpful character named Toad (Keegan-Michael Key), who becomes his guide and leads him to Princess Peach. Recognizing the imminent threat posed by Bowser, Princess Peach devises a plan to unite forces against their common foe. She shares her extraordinary backstory with Mario, recounting how she arrived in the Mushroom Kingdom as an infant and was taken in by the benevolent Toads, eventually becoming their revered leader.

To bolster their resistance, Princess Peach proposes an alliance with the formidable primate race known as the Kongs. Mario, accompanied by Toad, eagerly joins Princess Peach on her noble quest. Along the way, they venture into the enigmatic Jungle Kingdom, where they seek an audience with the wise and experienced King Cranky Kong (Fred Armisen). However, the king sets forth a condition before offering his assistance, he challenges Mario to defeat his powerful son, Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen), in a fierce battle. Despite Donkey Kong's immense strength, Mario's agility and speed prove to be the deciding factors, enabling him to emerge victorious with the aid of a remarkable Cat Suit.

Now, with the Jungle Kingdom united behind their cause, Mario, Princess Peach, Toad, and the Kongs embark on a journey back to the Mushroom Kingdom, using karts as their mode of transportation. However, as they make their way along Rainbow Road, Bowser's formidable army launches a surprise ambush, threatening to derail their plans.

This really is such a fun film, for all the family. It is great for younger kids, and even adults in their 40s will enjoy and understand all the references to the video games. They really do a good job of referencing the games, especially Mario Kart when they travel along the Rainbow Road and have to fight off Bowser's army.

I can completely understand how this film has done such huge box office numbers. There is no agenda, there is no woke politics shoehorned in to keep the far left happy. No ridiculous gay characters or race swapping, just a straightforward family film that is completely loyal to the source material, a fantastic run time of just over 80 minutes. They even have a mid-credit and post credit scene.

This is the kind of film that all companies should be aiming to release if they want to make money and keep the general public happy. No politics, just a fun family film. (Disney are you paying attention?)

Chris Pratt is great as Mario, and he is quickly becoming one of the most liked actors in Hollywood, in part because of his rejection of woke-dom and identity politics.

The whole cast is great, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad was a great casting choice, as was Jack Black as Bowser.

I really found it hard to come up with anything negative to say about this film.

The Good
Incredible animation, great voice acting, fun story that is exactly what they had in the video games. No identity politics, just good old fashioned family fun.

The Bad
I really can't think of anything.

A near perfect family film, that anyone can watch and enjoy, whether you have played the video games or not, whether you have any idea who Mario and Luigi are or not.

I score The Super Mario Bros. Movie a near perfect 9.5/10. So easy to watch, and thoroughly enjoyable.

Out now in Cinemas and on digital at and