Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

To the outsider – that being anyone who hasn’t played a thousand hours of Super Mario Galaxy 2, at least - nothing in The Super Mario Bros. Movie makes any sense. Is that a problem for mainstream audiences? Apparently not.

It has scored the most successful global opening ever for an animated film. I suppose everyone knows Nintendo, everyone knows Mario - and especially kids know Mario. But, although it’s been a financial success, have directors Michael Jelenic and Aaron Horvath made a filmic success? Can anyone turn to anyone else in their plush cinema seats and say: “You know that Mario thing? Pretty darn good in a filmmaking sense.”

Certainly, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has the look down pat. If you were to bring in your handheld Nintendo DS to the theatre, flick your eyes from the small screen to the big and back, you’d be impressed by the acuity.

If it looks like a Mario, jumps like a Mario… does it quack like a Mario?  It might be a Mario if it does. On voice performances, the internet was broiling with sarcasm when Chris Pratt was announced as voicing the eponymous character – but the Jurassic Park and Marvel star has managed to portray Mario in surprising fashion; he’s genuinely done a stand-up job.

And so do the rest of the cast: Jack Black as chief antagonist Bowser, comedian Charlie Day as Luigi, and Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong. Audiences seem to have been asking for a joyful adaptation with references galore, which is what The Super Mario Bros. Movie delivers. It may lack in a meaningful thematic throughline, but it’s Mario, after all – we’re not here for Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite.

It’s fun. Let’s hope for a bit more than just fun next time – let’s get Mario doing an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House or something insane like that. I’d pay to see it.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is playing now at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema.

Review by Declan Durrant

Let’s-a-go! Mario and Luigi hit the big screen in The Super Mario Bros. Movie

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