The Super Mario Bros. Movie: Fan Service done right

The Super Mario. Bros Movie posterThe Super Mario. Bros Movie poster
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This is a spoiler free review about The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Please don’t panic, I’m not going to ruin the film for you.

Don’t get pissy about this

In my mind there are two things that people are going to get pissy about and both really shouldn’t dissuade you from going to see the movie. Let’s start with the one everyone whinged about when it was announced: Chris Pratt as the voice of our titular hero, Mario. The key characters (except two: Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong and Jack Black as Bowser) had voices that didn’t match the ones I had formed in my head. Did this ruin the film for me? No, not in the slightest. Don’t let it ruin it for you either, just accept the madness.

Secondly I genuinely hope no one moans about this but knowing how gate keepers work, can imagine a lot of very nasty things being said. Are you ready for it? Princess Peach can defend herself and isn’t the ‘oh no, save me Mario’ type of Princess from Super Mario Land on Game Boy. Instead, we get a Princess more relating to the Super Mario Bros. cartoon or Captain N: The Gamemaster. If you’re the sort of person that will let this upset you then please, grow some balls and get over it.

The films main characters
The Mario Kart scenes are fantastic fun.

First impressions

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is fantastic family fun for young and old. We get imagery from various Nintendo titles such as Punch Out and F-Zero and as the film progresses, more appears. I particularly liked seeing Nintendos origin of playing cards being shown. None of this is forced down your throat and nor is it so obvious that it detracts from the film. Seeing things appear that you recognise is exciting and not over done.

The story is simple and plays on similar storylines addressed in various Mario games. Pulling ideas from almost every Mario game (excluding Mario Hotel and Mario is missing), the film really has fun. I felt the warm nostalgia of the world first created for us in the 80s. I was glued to the screen through out. At just over a 1 and half hours (1:32 to be precise), you certainly won’t be worrying about numb bum syndrome.

Peach and Bowser from The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
A simple story but that’s exactly what was needed.

This isn’t Minions

My biggest concern for The Super Mario Bros. Movie was that it was being handled by Illumination. The company that gives us copious amounts of inoffensive guff, got the rights to produce a film that had to repair the damage from Super Mario Bros. in 1993. Just a quick note on that film, I unashamedly enjoy it. The original Despicable Me was perfectly enjoyable but it wasn’t cinema defining. I was seriously concerned we were just going to get something Minion-esque. I’m pleased to say that what they did create, was fantastic in so many ways. Also, before anyone criticises me – The Super Mario Bros. Movie is not genre defining.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie world created by illumination.
A fantastic recreation of the Mushroom Kingdom.

The character design is great, the world looks fantastic and everything feels Nintendo in a good way. If I were to flag any negatives then I’ll go with nostrils. It sounds funny but once you see it, you just can’t un-see that nostrils are solid walls of flesh.

Wait, didn’t Sonic do it better?

I was a big fan of the Sonic films and they did do justice to all the game series. The Super Mario Bros. Movie takes this several steps further and gives us the best fan service I’ve seen in a long time. Both are very different films but Mario for me, smashes the video game category.

After the credits..

The Super Mario Bros. Movie has two after film scenes. The first appears mid credits and the second st the very end. Stick around for them, I t’s clear we’ll get a sequel.

Final thoughts on The Super Mario Bros. Movie

I was blown away by how much fun I this film was. Young or old and fan or not, you will enjoy this film.

Check out the reviews over on IMDB here. Rob has also done a tremendous look back at the first film and games over on Sidequest TGC.

Find more of our film posts here.

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