Video: The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is the animated movie I wanted to find at my local Blockbuster growing up as a kid, wishing it existed. Instead, all I found was the bland 1993 live-action film. Is this new rendition a phenomenal earth-shattering Oscar-worthy film? Not at all. But it encapsulates charming classic video game characters within a fun, yet forgettable generic plot, that has a cult-classic worthy song stuffed in the middle and doesn’t overstay its welcome. I would put The Super Marios Bros. Movie on par with the recent Sonic films; they’re not at the level of Pixar classics, such as Toy Story, Inside Out, or Coco, but they offer a quick fun time with several moments that are sure to put a smile on your face.

Bowser (Jack Black) has a big monster-crush on Princess Peach (Anya Taylor Joy) but the feelings are not mutual, which ignites a threat from Bowser to destroy the world. Luigi (Charlie Day) is kidnapped by Bowser and threatens havoc upon Mushroom Kingdom after having stolen a powerful star, so Mario (Chris Pratt) and Princess Peach must team up, seek help from Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen), and put forth their best efforts to stop Bowser before mass destruction ensues. 

I told you the plot was generic; despite Bowser’s reasoning for destroying the kingdom is due to his frivolous crush on the beautiful princess, I do like that they gave him a clear motivation instead of him being an evil villain for no reason whatsoever. Additionally, he has the absolute best song in the middle of the film, called, “Peaches”. While it’s not as hip as Justin Bieber’s hit single, it is the most embarrassingly catchy guilty pleasure rock ballad. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen this film and I can’t stop singing “Peaches Peaches Peaches, Peaches Peaches…I looooooo-UH-ve youuuuu.” And I will most certainly be voting for this track as a Best Original Song in my critics group. It’s like the 2013 song, “What Does The Fox Say?” The lyrics are incredibly simple and borderline stupid but the song is infectiously catchy and a genius track you can’t help but love. Jack Black, who I typically am not too big a fan of, was the perfect casting choice and this might be his best role I’ve seen him in, outside of School of Rock. Black is in a comedy rock group called Tenacious D and so that musical background coupled with his ability to do a convincing Bowser voice made him the perfect choice for the role and highly elevated the film. 

The animation is top level Illumination work; you can see all of the money being poured into bringing these charming characters to life, which look better than they ever have! Nintendo has some catching up to do, with Illumination producing these character models to look better than they do in their counterpart video games, which do not have visuals at the caliber of the PS5 or Xbox Series X. Perhaps in the next Nintendo console, we will get to see these characters with the detail seen in the film. Textures seen along the characters' clothing and amidst the environments was quite impressive.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a breezy 92 minute film with likable characters, fair comedy woven throughout, a hilarious song, and mesmerizing visuals. It’s a perfect family outing.

Final Verdict:Encapsulates charming classic video game characters within a fun, yet generic plot, that has a cult-classic worthy song stuffed in the middle and doesn’t overstay its welcome.