The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

I guess if you're not a Mario fan there isn't much to recommend but the movie clearly knows whom it's for
HAHAHahahhahahaa did you ever imagine you'd see DK in the ocean, at night, with rain, say


You saved my life...!"

It's ridiculous it's just wonderful.

It's funny how DK and Seth Rogen share the same energy. He was basically just being himself, but it worked for DK well imo
Just wanted to let you know that I now think it's actually pretty good when you take into account the fact that it's a SUPER Mario movie. Aka an adaptation of the platformers, which are light on story in their own right.

Perhaps they'll make the sequels more story-heavy as they pay homage to other areas of the franchise, such as the RPGs. Let's raise a glass to that! 🥃
You know, after looking back at the movie, there's actually a bit of an oversight with the Koopa General's voice work. Despite wearing a winged spiny shell, he ends up saying "blue shell" before transforming. Scott Menville probably didn't get the memo that the blue shell is actually a power-up from New Super Mario Bros..
9/10 will buy on Blu-Ray. They blended the main series with most if not all of the sub series together in harmony, I didn't think possible.

Some my reactions/notes I remember since i saw it over a week ago..
Jumpman and Mario are two different people.
Mario having a family, is that how they'll bring Wario & Waluigi in???
Mario being into parkour before introduced to the Mushroom Kingdom is smart writing.
Bowser's flying castle!
Sad King Boo didn't get more appearence, Luigi was right there in his woods for crying out loud! But we only saw him in the wedding crowd.
This is my favorite explanation to Peach being the princess.
Like that Go-Kart started with the Kongs.
Needs more Wiggler and Koopalings.
This is my favorite explanation to Peach being the princess.

I always held this as headcanon, because only a society of retrograde, monkey-brained, parasitic gremlins such as Toads would choose a ruler based on physical appearance.
I have decided to lay my thoughts on the Mario movie a bit more elaborately. Behind the spoiler are some of my praises for the film...

It's a Mario movie that focuses mainly on Mario


A lot of the time, some say that if there are more Mario characters other than Mario, they would say that they would rather pick them other than Mario. Some may even think that Mario hardly have much character. I understand the sentiment, but I still think Mario is still a solid pick because he's a personable character, showing some fun character.

The film is what I wanted because it puts Mario in the spotlight more than Luigi. It's true that Luigi gets some focus, but Mario gets more of the focus and his rise to heroism and showing a lot of character and performing a lot of things to solve the problem within the film. Mario shows some successes, but he's also got some hilarious failures like when he's fails the training course. The games might not necessarily allow Mario to say or emote much (Super Mario Odyssey is probably the biggest game with the best expressions, while Fortune Street has the biggest volume for dialogue), so the film allowing Mario to have both is wonderful.

By the by, while Chris Pratt might not be well-liked for Mario, I didn't think of him when Mario is voiced. Then again, I have no attachment or grudge against him, so I have no expectations.

The grand scale of the worlds


One of the things the Mario film does wonderfully is to give every scenery a great sense of scale. The games might have a bit of it but the smaller screen might not be able to convey much details. However, the movie is littered with details that make the worlds feel more alive than ever. The first reveal poster, which shows Mario standing against the Mushroom Kingdom, indicates that the film will have a lot to take in. It does make the characters feel smaller (e.g. Peach's Castle feels smaller in the games, but it feels bigger in the movie), but that's to the benefit of making it fit the big screen, and they are really taking advantage of that.

It's not just the Mushroom Kingdom that has the benefit of the scope: even Brooklyn gets the treatment, and it's great to see Mario's hometown get such a touch up in making it feel alive, more than New Donk City and its uniform citizens achieve (even if it's intentionally designed that way). Even on Bowser's end, the party with the many troops lend itself to making the area feels bigger when it's fitted with lots of them, as well as when his army gather at the penguin's ice castle.

The colours also add a lot to making it a visual treat that Mario has never been before, where they are so great to look at.

Excellent translation for the characters on the big screen


The character designs were revealed last year, and they aren't as bad as some fan art speculated they might look. In fact, they fit the characters decently, and Mario is surprisingly still kind of cute here, as well as his poseable plush. Every character chosen are true to their originals while giving just enough detail to not become too uncanny. So like Mario still has his recognisable facial features, but his detailed overalls and clothing still looks good on Mario. Characters also emote very superbly, stretching their faces in ways the games rarely do (Mario Strikers: Battle League might have been the recent game that stretched the faces to be highly expressive).

This extends to the characterisation of the characters. Their basic traits are still present, such as Mario being a very determined and willing to help those in need, or Luigi's more cowardly but loyal character. Even the villains kept their own traits, like how Kamek is still supportive of Bowser despite the abuse he gets, or how Bowser is very fearsome if he's reached his raging point. Some people didn't feel Cranky is well-portrayed, but I didn't quite see the issue. The only thing is that they could have kept the relationship between Cranky and Donkey Kong two generations apart like how the games tend to portray them, but maybe they changed it for simplicity. Speaking of Donkey Kong...

Donkey Kong's inclusion


Before the September 2021 direct where more of the film was revealed, I feared that the Mario movie would be traditional Super Mario Bros. where the Mario brothers rescue Princess Peach from Bowser like how the games tend to do, which to me is not a very interesting thing for Mario on the big screen. Thankfully, the voice cast reveals that Donkey Kong is going to be there, which means that at least Donkey Kong will make the movie different. And my, did it deliver!

For one, Mario gets to visit the jungle kingdom where the Kongs reside, so it's not just Donkey Kong that we see, but some of his fellow Kongs like Cranky Kong and Diddy Kong (briefly). Mario even gets to fight Donkey Kong, and the latter is even shown to be able to effortlessly beat Mario if he's got nothing on his side like the games (e.g. Mario loses a life if he touched Donkey Kong in Mario vs. Donkey Kong), so he needs some resources to help him, and he took advantage of Cat Mario's abilities to get the upper hand.

And then Donkey Kong gets to participate in world-saving where he teams up with Mario. They may have their disagreements and banters, but they are still quite amicable with each other. Like how Donkey Kong acknowledges Mario saving his life gracefully, and how Mario commends Donkey Kong for his resourceful vehicle. Plus, we got to see the rare powered up Donkey Kong variant where he gets a Fire Flower! Their friendly rivalry is a great highlight, and even Miyamoto is surprised by how well they work together.

Besides Donkey Kong, the other Kongs even play a big role where they develop karts to drive through the Rainbow Road, so the Kongs aren't just a bit role.

The presence of Mario's family


It's unfortunate that I was spoiled on the fact that Mario's family is shown in this movie. Regardless, I love that he has a family in this movie, because a lot of video game protagonists aren't known for having parents, much less one where both of them are still alive and are loving. It's very unusual for classic characters to have them, as not even Mickey Mouse have it, and Superman is known for having adoptive parents instead.

As a bonus, every member of the Mario family is designed well! The mother is the biggest highlight because she is a cartoony woman and that is a healthy portrayal for the Mario universe. This is due to how if there is a human woman character, they have a doll physique so the portrayal is not very enticing. Fan art generally fails at that, preferring to make them doll-like and doesn't inspire much confidence in me. Mario's father brings to mind Talon from Legend of Zelda, but I don't think he's inspired by that character, more that they have the same source (Talon's design is based on the design that Nintendo didn't show off), and he's also designed well! He's not exactly Mario but sharing resemblance to Mario is good for a family character. The uncles resembling Luigi is funny and I approve of this, showing that it's generational (so maybe Mario's sons might resemble him and his brother?).

I hope Mario's family get to appear more! They look like fun people and gives Mario a sense of family that is healthy for a protagonist. More than ever, I hope Mario's mother appear in the games or official art, to basically make it official that yes, Mario's mother is a cartoony woman.

A chance for Mario to shine while Luigi gets captured by the villain for him to rescue


One of my wishes is answered in this movie, and I am glad that they went with it! At last, we have a story where Luigi is not only kidnapped, Mario is the one who ends up rescuing Luigi. This is much more significant because it allows room to show what Mario is made of, in the absence of Luigi. He is shown to have a resolve to make sure his brother gets rescued, which I admire because of how often Mario is treated as abusive by fans (they are wrong in this opinion, but I don't think just saying this may change their minds). And as a bonus, Luigi is kidnapped as himself! If Luigi were kidnapped wearing a Peach dress, it downplays the whole thing because it means that Luigi is not the one who is desired to be kidnapped (and it makes Luigi the rescuer anyway, like in Super Mario Adventures).

Some may say "but Luigi is kidnapped before and Mario rescues him!", which is technically true, but the events before this move are relatively insignificant compared to what happens in this film. To explain a few examples:
  • Super Mario Galaxy: Mario rescuing Luigi is a simple mission rather than an end goal, so it never have much of an impact.
  • Super Mario 3D Land: Similar to the previous game where it's only a mini-mission, whereas he gets many reactions to Peach's postcards in this game prior to the single World where he was informed of Luigi's kidnapping. It is merely a vehicle to unlock Luigi.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King: The game has a few times where Mario rescues Luigi from any predicament, but it is treated as a running gag instead of something serious.
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: It's not quite a true "Mario rescues Luigi" because it's them as babies, and besides, Yoshi is the rescuer.
  • Mario Tennis Aces: Probably the most significant game of the lot where Mario rescues Luigi, but it is hampered by the character-light story and because tennis games aren't taken seriously typically.
Now compared to some of the games where Luigi rescues Mario:
  • Luigi's Mansion: There is a recurring urgency in which Luigi has to rescue Mario, especially after it's revealed that Mario is helplessly trapped by King Boo. Notably in this game, he gets to yell Mario's name to signify worry, and is the biggest game where Luigi's main characteristics are manifested and carries over to future games.
  • Luigi's Mansion 3: The idea that even Peach gets invited to a haunted hotel is to give Luigi clout by showing him rescuing everybody on his own. He is spared by the plot like how he is the last one to be targeted by King Boo and that is when he's not sleeping. He's even saved by Polterpup in a last ditch effort from being trapped in a painting, while the others got trapped the second time.
  • Mario & Luigi: There are three games where Luigi cannot swap out for Mario in specific moments: Superstar Saga, Bowser's Inside Story, and Paper Jam. In all three games, it is clear that they are meant to give Luigi the limelight. In fact, Luigi gets to showcase a lot of character by being on his own, whereas Mario never got the same treatment in those games and he's usually only alone in the tutorial (to which is not a chance for him to show his character).
In other words, Luigi has been fleshed out often and has more heroic deeds in brother-rescuing, and besides, the film eventually allows Luigi to shine. Mario hardly have his chance to shine in terms of brother-rescuing, so it's fair that he gets to do it in a big way for once. In other words, those who claim Luigi got done dirty probably didn't see the big picture (especially if a Luigi's Mansion film would eventually make Luigi become the rescuer again).

Great music score

It's strange... I feel like I didn't really catch the music for the film most of the time except for a few instances, so it only take me to listen the music in isolation to recognise and admire how great the music is. I really love the main theme for the movie, which fits the epic narrative of the film!

In fact, the music fitting from games given them a more epic feel befitting for the cinema. Some inclusions are very surprising, like Mario Kart 8's menu theme. The licensed themes didn't feel out of place, so for example Mr. Blue Sky near the end gives off the assumption that the Mario brothers were back in Brooklyn, so it's surprising to see that they actually moved into the Mushroom Kingdom.

Inclusion of Easter eggs and unexpected characters


I'm grouping these together as some form of surprise inclusions.

Anyway, some characters are unexpected, like Mario's family, but there are others that I totally did not expect. King Bob-Omb is one such surprise inclusion, as with Mario Kart King Boo. The former even gets to contribute by a logical end. In terms of Easter Eggs, I admit that I hardly notice much of them unless someone points them out, but one thing I like is the Punch-Out Pizzeria where it's littered with Punch-Out stuff, and how Mario plays Kid Icarus (which might insinuate that it is not a shared universe with that game, unlike possibly Punch-Out).

The Mario rap at the beginning is very fun, and while it's a fun call-back, it's very clear that not everybody sees it as a masterpiece, some even criticising for how cheesy and low-quality it is. Maybe that's how some fans feel about it (not me: I love it even if it's not quality stuff!).

The urgency of the situation


The film makes it clear how much of a threat Bowser is. Established early on, Bowser is able to effortlessly take down an entire kingdom of ice, and he even makes it clear that he means business when he threatens the penguins and even Luigi with harm. He is not very forgiving either, because he plans to use captured people or characters for his ritual, which he doesn't see as a big deal, so in other words he's rather unsympathetic. I guess his soft side for Peach is helpful for the heroes, but it's very clear that if Bowser wants something, he will get things done his way.

This makes the film more gripping, and is especially cathartic when Mario eventually gets to one-up Bowser with the power of the star at the end, with the help of Luigi to help him when no other character (not even Donkey Kong!) is able to subdue a Bowser that's completely at his rage-breaking point, only requiring an invincible Mario and Luigi to weaken him in a state that allows him to be defeated.

As a bonus, the Mario brothers are much better treated by the Brooklyn folks, especially Mario who is treated like dirt, more than Luigi is. I am glad that Mario gets the treatment because it's more interesting for Mario to be the underestimated one than the umpteenth time that Luigi is underestimated in the games.

The Nintendo-Illumination collaboration pays off big time


(As of 23/4/2023)

When Nintendo first revealed that they are officially working with Illumination back in February 2018, there were a lot of sceptism, since Illumination has a reputation of making cheap-looking films with low-grade humour. At best, it would be merely profitable enough and that's it. For me, I didn't think it was a big deal, especially learning that other studios aren't the best fit for Nintendo like how Disney and Pixar have an affinity for original or public domain works instead of a licensed one.

It takes a downturn when the voice actor cast is revealed, especially when it's shown that the video game cast won't be voicing their respective characters. Charles Martinet returns among them, but is not the voice of Mario and Luigi (he gets symbolic ones though, their dad and a guy named Giuseppe). It's pretty much when the film's first reveal happen that opinions start to change for the better, cumulating to the film's release, where it's managed to generate a lot of box office. Not only did it manage to beat Warcraft's box office in a short time, it's even up there with some of Disney and Pixar's best ones! It's not released in Japan yet, but it's on track to be a billion, which is impressive because no other video game adaptation managed to achieve this record, much less an animated one.

The Mario movie sets some historic records, and it's very cathartic to see.

Thank you for reading.
Other people probably would've sent better essays in this thread than me about the overall film, so I'll just say this: I was going to be happy with this movie as long as it had Mario and Luigi being the loving brothers I know them to be. It was what captivated me about the franchise in the past, especially the Mario & Luigi RPG series which stands to be my favorite series to date. And in that department, they certainly delivered; in fact, their bond is an emotional core of the film, and that makes me incredibly happy. We've seen endlessly how important Mario is to Luigi, and how much that forms who he is ー but this time, we get to see how important Luigi is to Mario. Not that I've ever been in any doubt as to their relationship, but this takes a deeper look at it.

Some deeper thoughts below:

What I really like is how Luigi's own support is juxtaposed with Mario's father's. Mario clearly has something to prove to his family, and he stakes it out on his own and makes a point of it so that he can show that he can support himself and his dreaming big isn't just some kind of fantasy. While his father's concern is understandable, he's pretty harsh with Mario and doesn't give him the response that Mario needs or hopes for. Some may say this film is about proving him wrong, which... Isn't all that new a story beat to cinema.

But one thing is consistent throughout the movie: Luigi's words of affirmation about Mario. When they say he's dragging his brother down, Luigi makes it clear he doesn't see it that way. When Luigi talks about Mario in general, it's always positive. Hell, even when he's face to face with Bowser, this man's adoration of his older sibling is so intense that at the threat of clawpoint and with a severe risk of pissing Bowser off and getting himself hurt with the obvious, very leading question of, "Are princesses attracted to [Mario]?" Luigi won't use that situation to save his skin. He straight up says, "If they have taste," which was not only hilarious, but absolutely adorable and speaks volumes of how highly he thinks of him.

When Mario becomes a hero is when he stops trying to prove things to people for the sake of their validation that he may never receive that way (his father) by helping those who already do support him and see the good in him (Peach and Luigi). What makes this story deviate from other stories of its kind is that it never paints Mario as being in the wrong for wanting that validation, never makes out like he's selfish for it. His lesson isn't, "A hero shouldn't showboat," like many others with a similar premise. His lesson isn't, "You have a particular role to play," like Wreck it Ralph (as much as I love that movie). It's for him to see who's really there for him and to fight for them. Of course, his father's recognition comes later regardless, but it's important to note that Luigi and Peach were supportive toward him through most of the film, and those are the people whose opinions he should be listening to.

I genuinely think Luigi is a big source of confidence for Mario in this film, just like the reverse is true in the games. And it's really nice to see that. It's not spelled out for you that this is the case, but his dogged determination is certainly because he's doing it for Luigi. And Luigi is the one who uplifts him when he needs it, when he feels, as he says, "small".

I was honestly caught by surprise, in a pleasant way, how emotional Mario sounded when he reunited with him. The fact that he brings their foreheads together like that... Genuinely, it's so sweet to think about. Not that I think Mario is totally flat in the games, but bringing out that range of depth to him... It itched a scratch I didn't even know I had. With Luigi being the teary-eyed bro in their reunions in the game, it's so nice to see his older brother be just as swayed by them being together.

And god, what a gut punch, the smile from Luigi is when Mario holds his hands to keep them from separating when they first enter, because you know they're gonna be separated, and... It's so beautifully animated. All of it is.

I don't really have anything more meaningful to say. I guess I just wanted to gush about the brothers for a minute.

Also I guess the typical comments of the trailers made Chris Pratt sound bad, Charlie Day and Jack Black killed it, yadda yadda. I dunno, man. I knew exactly what I wanted from this film and I got it. That's it.
Warning: This is a 21 minute speech. All the acts are divided up in spoilers.

So I've wanted to talk about this movie for a while now. Before getting started, I'll say this movie is a 5/5. And a deserved one because this movie had the potential to suck. But ultimately, Illumination put out what is their best film. Before this, Despicable Me was my personal favorite from this company. What makes this movie stand out is that it's much less immature and tries to pull out Illumination's best strengths which are its emotional side. The first Despicable Me movie has heartwarming moments, and they might have listened to the criticism of their other films to realize they couldn't just put out a typical kid's movie. Then again, it's fucking Mario, so they couldn't away with it.

If there's one thing you learn, your expectations tend to be inconsistent. People were understandably skeptical when we first heard Illumination was in charge of the movie. What really got me nervous was the voice cast. Now I want to stress that I love voice cast; you must hear it and be convinced. And oh boy, you really do because if you just saw the voice cast, you'd be scratching your head. I expected many video game voice actors to do their voices and maybe get a few English ones to try mimicking their in-game voices that were provided by Japanese actors. What we got were celebrity voice actors. Chris Pratt, especially. Let's be honest; he has been in too many movies. We all know him for his Emmett voice, but he has played a role in Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurrasic World, and I think he will be voicing Garfield. It reminds me of Samuel L. Jackson's parts and how he has been in almost everything. I mean, Nick Fury, Mace Windu, Frozone. And every time, it's the same voice. And because I had Emmett at the top of my mind, I feared they were asking for that voice, and Mario would be an idiot hero. The even weirder part was Charles Martinet would not be voicing him... but other characters. The hell? It's actually genius in the movie, but I was baffled when this was announced. I did get a friend of mine who defended the decision to not have Charles cast Mario and Luigi, and that is due to their voices being "annoying," which isn't the first time I've heard that complaint. Still, I didn't expect people to assume this was the reason. For that, I feel it's misguided. There are times when Charles' voice works, and I don't think it is necessary to recast Mario and Luigi. Jack Black and Seth Rogen were also shocking reveals, and I thought I would despise their roles. Spoiler alert, I ended up loving them. I was also bummed out that Yoshi was not mentioned at all. Like, he is a mainstay. You don't fucking forget him.

This is where the poster and trailer started to come in. I'll give out my honest thoughts here. It's a teaser, so it is meant to show only some things. Still, it didn't show enough for me to get super excited. Firstly, the way this teaser came was in a direct. I remember wanting to see the footage and was like, "Please, Chris and Jack, get out of the way! I want to hear Mario's voice!" Keep in mind, it wasn't negative, I was just been playful They also claim this is Mario's first animated film which is a lie. What interested me about this direct was how the film was composed of "Mario fanatics." It's kinda amusing to know people at Illumination are huge Mario fans. I guess they actually have good taste... I also forgot that Koji Kondo was involved in this movie. Pratt mentions that you can stomp Koopas in the Mario Bros. arcade game (you don't).

The teaser itself was... a mixed bag. I know people absolutely loved this trailer, and good for you. My issue was that it wasn't a seller for me. You got a good beginning with the airship arriving at the kingdom. And you see Bowser's colossal army. Unlike the games, the Koopas are wearing clothes. We hear Bowser tell the penguins to open the gate and see tons of penguins. I have to credit the movie for having a unique scenario here. Rather than Bowser kidnapping Peach for like the... I lost count; they have an original premise of penguins fighting against Bowser. It was really a creative premise... But, the humor. Now on the bright side, it shows Bowser is firm, and they do one unique thing having one of the penguins take out one Koopa. But I was expecting Bowser to be utterly unharmed with a bored expression. That joke was hilarious... back in Megamind. Sure, that movie is old now, but I think this joke has been multiple times anyway, especially for a heavy, tough guy character. Soon we get the scene with Mario and Toad. I like the piano music here; it's excellent, and I like how curious Mario looks during these scenes. However, we get another predictable joke. Toad gets upset and thinks there is a poisonous mushroom, but it turns out it's not. It's actually funnier in the movie, but I'll get to that. While Key's performance is spot-on, the dialogue chosen for him is what I've seen in most animated films. The comic relief freaks out, and nothing horrible actually happens. Really guys? I forgot that Jack Black is an excellent example of proving me wrong. I thought his performance would piss me off, but he became one of my favorite aspects of the film. Chris Pratt is curious because the trailers don't do an excellent job of showing his roles. I'll get to that when I'm talking about the acts. His voice sounded like Emetts, and we didn't get a perfect job of hearing enough of it. That last scene with Luigi is neat. Yeah, I wasn't really excited about the first trailer.

The subsequent two trailers warmed me up, though. You got an excellent opening with Mario entering the arena to fight Donkey Kong. At this point, I had no idea what the plot was, so I assumed this movie would tell an origin story and recreate the early Donkey Kong arcade game scenes. Sadly, we don't hear Seth Rogen's roles here; I think they used generic gorilla voices. Like the first trailer, it starts with a somewhat predictable joke. Mario's going to have the shit beaten out of him, right? Yep... And the heroes are cringing. Cranky Kong is wearing a funny costume. What? And then we get the scene with Bowser and Luigi. We actually finally get to hear Charlie Day's performance. And we get another lazy joke here. We get Bowser being all badass and threatening Luigi, and Luigi tries to act like he doesn't know who Mario is, but he accidentally reveals who he is. Come on, that's typical iCarly humor there. And then, we get a scene with Mario at the training stage. He is shown to suck at it, and Peach cringes. These trailers don't represent this very well, but if you didn't know that, you would think Mario is being portrayed as an idiot in this movie. And, like, I've seen the idiot hero trope before. Believe it or not, Chris Pratt played said idiot. However, this trailer was somewhat better. It was much more exciting than the previous one. I guess it was because I was starting to understand the plot. They show that scene with Mario and the Kongs riding the karts, and that's cool.

The third trailer is what got me to see the movie though I probably would've seen it anyway just to make sure Illumination didn't fuck this up. Of course, we've seen that clip with Lumalee pissing off the prisoners. And yes, the humor is funny! Like, way better than the other previous trailers. And it looks fantastic. Though we get another dumb joke about Bowser not knowing what Spinies are? Like, what the hell? Are you telling me that the king of Koopas doesn't know what a Spiny is? Lame. The thing that really was awesome was seeing Fire Donkey Kong. Like, I want to see more characters with fire forms. But the best segment was on Rainbow Road, where Mario attacked those Koopas. It was really badass! Okay, this movie might not suck. And... here comes the review.

So Act 1 started out really well. I already explained what happens in the beginning, and yes, most of what happens in the trailer occurs here. It's a shame because I feel it could've been much more epic. If they weren't going for the comedic side here, they could've shown how defenseless the penguins are or shown off the difference between their skills. A part of this reminds me of the scene in Return of the Jedi, where the Ewoks are against the stormtroopers, or in The Phantom Menace, where the Gungans are fighting against the battle droids. I like these two groups fighting against each other, and I wish this movie did that. We'd get a massive fight against the Koopas and the penguins and show how superior the Koopas are. In fact, the penguins are basically reverse-battle droids. They get trounced, and none of the Koopa soldiers does shit to defeat them. You could probably cough on them and win a battle against them. I'm not saying I wanted the penguins to win, but I think I should've seen them put more of a fight in for me to care.

Finally, we get the Brooklyn scene. This had tons of advertising, and I got to say, it was one of the other things I really liked about this movie. You literally got to see The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! get referenced again after all these years. I honestly thought Nintendo was just going to forget about the DIC cartoons and never reference it again, so it was really lovely fanservice, and I can imagine people who grew up with the cartoon or into dumb internet culture to be happy. The commercial is hilarious too. I like how in-universe Mario and Luigi put up these Italian voices for shits and giggles. Of course, we get that scene with Charles Martinet where he voices the old guy who looks like Jumpman. I predicted Charles' cameos would have him doing Mario's classic voice. I expected Mario would freak out and start doing his voice in one part of the movie. Of course, that is for a reason... But I like this here like the classic Mario character is this different person. We also get the scene with Foreman Spike, and I like his role here. He's basically a rival to Mario, mocks the brothers, and Mario stands up for his brother. I like that Mario is brave and somewhat innovative. He's just... a cool guy. Mario, in general, is probably the least-developed main character? The most defining traits of Mario is that he likes to yell a lot, jump a lot, and is Italian. Mario isn't a perfect guy here, but he learns how to do things. One of the most significant flaws is in his impulses. I can tell that Mario wants to do something Luigi doesn't want to do, which can create a conflict. During the scene where Mario is trying to unclog the sewers of Brooklyn, he brings Luigi into it, even though he really doesn't want to go with him. It's that SpongeBob and Squidward-type relationship that I describe here. Luigi... is insteresting. My most significant points about him go into act 3, so I'll get to it soon. What you need to know is that Luigi retains the same personality he has in the games. Charlie Day performs well and honestly compliments Charles Martinet's original role, similar to how Jack Black compliments Kenny James' original role. Spike was totally unexpected, and I love it. I wanted to see this character again before the movie was a thing. Weirdly, his personality is what I expected. He's pretty snarky and believes he's superior to the brothers. His redesign is by far the most drastic. I had in mind his promotional design from the first Wrecking Crew game. At least they got his beard and sunglasses, so I can't complain. The underrated character really got to shine. I nearly forgot about Chris Pratt! So the voice they use is a Brooklyn accent, or at least, I think. Yeah, as I said, the trailers don't show off his voice well. They actually showed off Jack Black and Charlie Day more for some reason. The title character gets less voice time in trailers. Honestly, I didn't mind the voice. I don't know if I'm brainwashed by Chris Pratt here, but his performance didn't suck. He carries a lot of energy and can sometimes show off emotional moments. Would I have liked Charles Martinet to voice him? Yes. Don't get it twisted; I think Chris Pratt was not terrible at all, and a lot of people would probably consider him the second-best voice for Mario, alongside Charles and Lou Albano. But I don't think there wouldn't have been anything wrong with most of the games' original cast reprising their roles. I guess Super Mario Sunshine told Nintendo no.

The plumbing scene is one of the first significant things that happen in the movie. I do like the part where Mario and Luigi are "platforming". It's a nice nod to the video games. There are also Easter eggs which I won't mention. Eventually, the brothers work on their first case. I haven't seen The Secret Life of Pets, but I know that the dog model shares similarities to the ones in that film. I will admit; this is somewhat my least favorite part of the first act. Mainly, the conflict is because of the stupid dog, so I can't take the scene seriously. Given how we know on the website that the BrKLnCouple gave their job a 2-star rating for what their dog did, it makes me feel bad for them. I guess that's the point, but it would've probably been more impactful if it was the Mario Bros.'s fault. It also threw logic out the door for me because the dog was acting anthropomorphic. I know many cartoons occasionally do that, but I feel it's out of place for the Brooklyn part of the movie, which is meant to be more realistic. I do like how it shows the heroism of Mario and Luigi, though. Here, even though the dog was about to murder the Mario Bros. for breaking his bone, they save him... somewhat implausibly. And... they put him in the toilet for some reason? Yeah...

The next scene is quite shocking. It shows... Mario and Luigi's family! I gotta admit; this was a left-field thing. We got Mama Mario with a way better design than she had in the Super Show!. In fact, I believe some of these designs were actually designs for what Mario's family would've looked like. I honestly would love to see these characters in the video games. I like their niece in particular. Even though she has no dialogue, she looks adorable. I also like how it feels like a real family, with one of them poking fun at the Bros.. They're apparently Italian immigrants, and that's cool. I want to see some spin-off shorts regarding them and their backstory. We also got to see the relationship with their father, and we got some father-son time storytelling here. Basically, his father criticizes Mario for quitting his job with Spike (one nitpick is that they don't explain their former job) and going with their plumbing business. Mario gets his feelings hurt and leaves. I like how Luigi also tries to cheer him up, showing how they both support each other. I like how when Mario plays Kid Icarus, the game over screen says, "I'm Finished!". It shows off Mario's frustrated tone very well. This is where we get that scene with the overflowing water.

I don't have much to say about that scene; it's relatively short. What it's meant to show off is Mario and Luigi are trying to save Brooklyn. Mario is suicidal and goes underground. Luigi understands what was so stupid about that. The water effects are fabulous, by the way. Luigi gets sucked into the Warp Pipe, and Mario enters it. He's about to rescue Luigi but gets sucked up in the Dark Lands pipe, and Mario ends up in the Mushroom Kingdom. Here, he meets Toad. Toad is an interesting character. He really starts to show in Act 2 in particular.

What I like about him is that he's introduced relatively early. I have a friend who used to play Toad in Mario Kart 64 as their main, and they were pretty happy to see him earlier in the movie. Heck, he's introduced in like first 20 minutes? Good. And yeah, I know why they didn't get Samantha Kelly to do the voice. It's funny for video game voice clips but dialogue? I don't know. Maybe if it's softer, they could've done it? Then again, Toad has an engaging personality in this film and I'm not sure her voice could pull off what he says. I like the visuals of the Mushroom Kingdom. It actually looks like... a mushroom kingdom. Yeah, with giant mushrooms and weird creatures. I think this should be a genius look for it. Heck, we got a little town resembling the Universal theme park, but that's in act 2. The climax shows Luigi in a dark place. It looks fantastic, and the Dry Bones sequence is intense and incredible. It will probably scare the shit out of children, but I don't care. I like how the Dry Bones come out of the ground to kill Luigi. Sure, it's ridiculous for a man to outrun turns of undead anthro turtles, but it leads to cool animation. Seeing them perform horror with Shy Guys is hilarious.

Overall, the first act was a blast, and my only real complaints were the voice acting and comedy. I already explained my thoughts on the humor. It can be cute and harmless but not over-the-top funny. The voice acting in the first act was pretty typical. Remember, Jack Black's performance is only at the beginning, and we only see him once we return to the subsequent three acts

Act 2 is my least favorite act in the movie. It's a good act, but it could be better. My most significant issues aren't so obvious, but I will get to it. Act 2 is where you see Mario arrive in the town and meet the Toads. I like how Mario is all confused and weirded by the place; it makes sense. Though I'm a bit confused by the Warp Pipe sequence. Mainly because when Mario entered a pipe, he exited out of one of a different color. I always think it's weird in a Mario game when Mario exits one of a different color.

Eventually, Toad distracts the guards, and Mario breaks into Peach's house. I like how the good guys are fooled by the good guys. In most cartoons, it's the bad guys who fall for the poor disguise or the good guys who are tricked by the villains. Here, the good guys are tricking other good guys to infiltrate Peach's castle. Here, Peach meets Mario. He forces her to help him, and we get to the training montage. One of the most extraordinary things about this movie was how Peach was developed. One of the biggest problems with Peach is how two-dimensional she is. I guess the RPGs show her very well, but she's kinda like Mario in a way that she is somewhat the same. Heck, Daisy is a lot more developed than her. I wouldn't say her personality is the same as in the games, but this makes her more alluring. She's a badass that grew up with these mushroom dudes, and she doesn't know her history. It's one of the most great backstories for Peach. The closest one we get in the games is that she is a star child or something. I think that implies the storks delivered her as the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom... when she was a baby? Yeah... Here, we get a backstory where she came out of the pipe, and the Toads took care of her.

Another thing I forgot to mention was that a lot of the Toads have unique voices. Not all of them have high-pitched voices. Nintendo needs to do this more often in their games. The training montage scene is also a lot of fun. In the trailers, it's portrayed as Mario being a dumbass. Let me tell you, they misled you big time. In the actual movie, Mario makes a couple of mistakes. You even see the sky get darker, showing he is constantly improving. While it does end with a predictable gag of Mario failing, I like how Peach thinks Mario is ready. Also, Mario hates mushrooms. It reminds me of how Ralph disliked chocolate in Wreck-It Ralph but loved it at the end. I also like how the power-ups work here. Mushrooms make Mario super badass; honestly, that's the best way to write power-ups in a story setting. I think Peach is being a bitch by force-feeding Mario the mushroom. Lady, let him chew it down. Also, why do they have to eat the mushrooms but the other power-ups they touch? I also find it weird that Mario loses it when he falls into the water? Did he damage himself when he felt the water?

We now have the scene with Bowser. It's one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Yeah, in my least favorite act of the film. The gang is going crazy, and we got a rocking band playing awesome music. Bowser plans a forced marriage, and a Koopa tells him it might not work. Bowser disfigures him into a Dry Bones. I always wanted a Mario game where a Koopa is turned into a Dry Bones. I remember in Newer Super Mario Bros. DS, where the final level had Koopas turn into Dry Bones by the lava waves. Let's say I was happy to see that in the movie. We also get Peaches. It's Jack Black at his best. It's an amazing and stupid song. It's a bit unique to portray Bowser as a pianist, and I don't think it's out of place for Bowser to sing about his crush. It's something you could expect in Super Mario Odyssey. We get that scene with Kamek talking about Luigi. During this scene, Bowser plays the piano to play the underground theme, and Kamek makes the coin sound. Love that shit. It reminded me of this keygen piece, oddly. Bowser interrogates Luigi, and it goes as it does in the trailers. Luigi slips up and tells Bowser about Mario. We get that iconic scene with Lumalee talking about death. I'm not sure what I think about a children's film making jokes that Lumalee does, but it's surreal; I kinda like it. I like he annoys the characters too.

Eventually, our main heroes go to the Jungle Kingdom, and we get the kart racing sequence. So yeah, DK Island doesn't appear in this movie. This is where the film went too far in changing too much from the games. Here, we don't get to see that many of the iconic Kongs, and they don't act like how they do in the Rare games. They are portrayed as being into kart-building. It's a bit strange; why would apes be into building machinery? Also, no mention of Kremlings? I feel they kinda forgot about Donkey Kong Country when developing this scene. By far, the most significant point is Cranky Kong. As I mentioned earlier, he is completely redesigned. In the games, he's this snappy, smart-ass, fourth-wall-breaking father figure to DK that bares a resemblance to Scrooge McDuck. In this movie, he's a king that's kinda snarky. You got the latter part correct, but he isn't that cranky like he is in the games. His voice doesn't fit, either. I feel like they forgot he was old.

The heroes need to fight Donkey Kong, and they get his army. Once again, the battle arena scene is much better in the movie than in the trailer. Donkey Kong is also somewhat different from his game counterpart, but... It's cool. I like how DK is just showing off and making his father cringe. We also get a clever fight sequence. Like the training montage sequence, Mario starts to suck, but he eventually gets better and better and is successful in defeating DK, but that was because he threw the fight... for some reason. I wish there was some character development here for why Donkey did this since he and Cranky have father-son issues. I like this idea since other movies such as The Last Crusade, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Ratatouille have the father and son not understand each other but eventually do. However, this movie doesn't really explore that.

The father-son thing is only really explored with Mario and Donkey Kong, and I wish there were more moments like that. Mario could feel Donkey's pain and sympathize with him or vice versa. That said, Donkey and Toad might be my favorite characters in the movie. Donkey likes to pick on Mario, while Toad just blindly defends him. It reminds me of the scene in A New Hope where Han is revealed to be a force atheist, and Luke scoffs at him for it just because an older man told him about him. It shows how Toad is willing to be Mario's friend and stick up with him on everything. There's also the relationship between Mario and Donkey Kong that I really like.

I could go into a complete analysis of how fun the Rainbow Road sequence is, but Mario does a lot of cool shit in this sequence. Basically, Bowser and Kamek figure out where Mario and his friends are and ambush him. My favorite is tricking the Spiny Shell Koopa into thinking he killed him but then surprising him and getting Donkey Kong to blow him up into smithereens... But he somehow survives, and then suicide bombs our heroes! It's a really intense scene. I also really like how Mario and Donkey Kong start arguing with each other at first, but then they help each other in the end. They get eaten by the eel and start bitching but then realize how to escape. It's also cool to see a Unagi, now named Maw-Ray, in this movie. They are one of the scarier Mario's enemies, so it makes sense for them to include it.

So my most significant issue is honestly game accuracy here. Of course, the comedy is still decent but not laugh-out-loud funny. And because of that, it ends up being my least favorite act of the entire film. It's still a good act, but it could've been genuinely fantastic if the comedy was more well-written or the Donkey Kong Country representation was well done here. I'm not one of those fanboys that whine about minor, trivial things like that in a non-canon film, similar to why I didn't boycott this movie for not having the Mario voice, but I think the novelty of being close to the games is what makes this movie very special and what people are wanting to see. By straying away from it too much, it ends up feeling like it was just inspired by it. Many adaptations change a lot, but this changed too much here.

Eventually, Peach is pressured into marrying Bowser. I like this part because it contains a rather brilliant plan. Toad smuggles in an Ice Flower, and we get a terrific scene where she freezes Bowser and the lever lowering their cage. Also, I told my friend (who isn't that familiar with the Mario games) to stop looking at their phone for the fantastic scene with King Bob-omb and King Boo. It makes sense to include the latter character, but both feel left-field. King Boo looks weird, though, and he doesn't do anything but appear. At this point, Mario and Donkey Kong appear in the Mushroom Kingdom. I'm not sure, but these are the only times you see Mario and the current Donkey Kong team up. Also, seeing Fire Donkey Kong was a real treat and made me lose my shit.

Luigi... Oh boy, Luigi... He... whines and cries throughout the rest of this movie. Of all the characters to be written terribly, it was Luigi. Now, he's not unlikable; he has a fun little charm that could be in the other video games or even the cartoons. The problem is that he's just that once he is imprisoned by Bowser. He is just in a cage for the rest of the movie. We don't see Luigi interact much with the movie's other characters. We get a brief scene where he talks to the penguin king but only tells him how annoying Lumalee is. It's weird because it's the exact opposite of how Luigi is in the games. He's meant to be more developed than Mario. It's ironic how he has less personality than Mario in this movie. The penguins were also sadly shafted. The film's trailers implied they were the central conflict for Bowser as he is shown fighting them. However, he imprisons them in his cage, and that's it. No backstory or anything. It goes with my point in act 1 on how little we know about these penguins. It would've been cool if, in the cell, the penguin king talked about guarding the Super Star. They also never explain why they were defending it in the first place, and we only get a few of the penguins to speak lines of dialogue.

And we got the fantastic Bomber Bill sequence. I don't need to mention much; it's beautiful. Pretty bold for Bowser to commit terrorism after attempting mass murder and regicide. Ultimately, act 3 picks up after act 2, and I enjoy it more than act 1.

I don't think I need to say much for the final act. Mario and Luigi team up to take down Bowser. Luigi finally gets a significant moment to shine... at the end. We get an incredible sequence where they are invincible and take down Bowser. Peach mutilates Bowser into a tiny person and uses him as a slav- I mean pet. Beautiful. I have not much to say about this final sequence other than that it's epic and cool. It's cool to see Mario and Luigi move into the Mushroom Kingdom. I also thought his family moved there, which would be super cool if that's confirmed in the sequel. Oh, and of course, the Yoshi cameo. Yeah, it's super awesome, and I want to show this movie to a friend who has yet to see it, especially the Yoshi scene. We are definitely getting a sequel. Honestly, this was my favorite act of the movie, and I hardly had that many complaints other than they should've used Luigi earlier.

I'm pretty damn tired. I wrote this a while ago. The Super Mario Bros. Movie is my favorite Illumination film, Despicable Me being in second place. And hopefully, Illumination can start making better movies. I saw a trailer for their upcoming bird movie, and it kinda looked cool. Beyond that, I would love to see Mario adaptations in the future. It's rare to see fully voice-acted things in the Mario franchise with characters you care about. Then again, I haven't played much of the RPGs, so I'm probably not looking in the right place. And as I said earlier, this movie is a 5/5. It's an excellent film that does just enough to make it a unique experience. While I did have issues, they were overshadowed by the fantastic things in the movie and the brilliant storytelling. Never did I think Illumination could prove all of us wrong here. I'd recommend to anyone, even non-Mario and non-gaming fans. Even if you dislike Illumination in general, I guarantee you that their common flaws are mostly absent here.
Looks like Jakks Pacific is giving us a second wave of figures from the movie series composed of Kamek, Peach (Mario Kart/Biker outfit), Cat Mario, and Tanooki Mario,

I already picked up Peach and Kamek this last weekend as I found them while I was out. There was only one of each, so I was worried about it being scarce later. Gonna wait to pick up Tanooki and Cat Mario even though I loved them as well, I have really enjoyed what's been done with the figures by Jakks so far. I mean the "fire-breathing" Bowser is the best part, IMO. 😀
Nice! I really love that one. The fire-breathing feature is pretty awesome how Jakks Pacific did it. He's definitely become one of my favorite figures too.
I have been against this movie since Chris Pratt was revealed as the Voice of Mario. . .

and I Do NOT Want Mario to sound like Emmett Brickowski/Star-Lord/etc Doing a Rocket Raccoon Impression;

I Want Mario to sound like He ALWAYS has in the games; or have a Dubbed Voice that satisfies the Game-Only fans like Me; who want to Hear Mario with the Same Italian accent he's had since 1996. . .

At Least Raphael Rossatto gave me a Mario that sounds like EFFIN' Mario; and Not Like Chris Pratt!!
I have been against this movie since Chris Pratt was revealed as the Voice of Mario. . .

and I Do NOT Want Mario to sound like Emmett Brickowski/Star-Lord/etc Doing a Rocket Raccoon Impression;

I Want Mario to sound like He ALWAYS has in the games; or have a Dubbed Voice that satisfies the Game-Only fans like Me; who want to Hear Mario with the Same Italian accent he's had since 1996. . .

At Least Raphael Rossatto gave me a Mario that sounds like EFFIN' Mario; and Not Like Chris Pratt!!
Lou Albano is clearly the best Mario.