Super Mario Bros. The Movie – “Sewer” Disappointment

FILM REVIEW – Super Mario Bros. The film is perhaps one of the biggest disappointments that 2023 has brought to the cinema screen. The animated film, based on the world-famous video game series, fails to recreate the charm, humour and excitement of the games, instead telling a clichéd and forced story in which the characters don’t really come to life. The film’s directors, Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (the creators of Teen Titans Go!), fail to grasp the essence of the Mario universe and offer the audience a poor copy. The co-production between Nintendo and Illumination fails to deliver the adventure they were hoping for, but instead delivers a boring and clichéd animation.



The Super Mario Bros. The film is the first feature film adaptation of Nintendo’s most popular video game franchise, made in collaboration with Illumination Studios (creators of Gru, Minions and Cats and Dogs). The film stars Chris Pratt (Mario), Anya Taylor-Joy (Princess Peach), Charlie Day (Luigi), Jack Black (Bowser), Keegan-Michael Key (Toad) and Seth Rogen (Donkey Kong), who bring the familiar characters to life with their voices. The story follows Mario and Luigi as two down-and-out plumbers who accidentally find themselves in the Mushroom Kingdom, where they must rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser.



The Super Mario Bros. The biggest problem with the film is that it can’t decide who it’s trying to appeal to. It over-simplifies and dumbs down the story and world of the games to appeal to the widest possible audience, but in doing so it loses the respect and interest of the fans.

It is also full of jokes and references that are either too far-fetched, too obvious or too far from the original source. For example, Mario and Luigi’s Italian accents are replaced by an American dialect, Bowser is portrayed as a rock musician who plays guitar and sings, and Donkey Kong is a talking gorilla who throws bananas. The creators have not taken the world of the Mario universe seriously either, their animated product is just a series of clichés and parodies.



Kinda boring


The Super Mario Bros. Another big flaw of the film is that it fails to show the spectacle and creativity of the games. While the animation is nice and colourful, it lacks variety and excitement.

Most of the action takes place on the same stage, with Mario and Luigi running the same courses as in the games, but without any challenge or variety.

The story doesn’t take advantage of the rich and diverse world of the Mushroom Kingdom, but instead presents it as a boring and clichéd setting, and fails to create a dynamic and exciting atmosphere for the games, instead offering a succession of action-packed animations.


MOZI HÍREK - Chris Pratt szereposztása Mario szerepére a Super Mario Bros. filmben kisebb vihart kavart, de Chris Meledandri producer szerint végül elnyeri majd a rajongók tetszését.


“It’s a me! Chris Pratt!”


The Super Mario Bros. The third major sin of the film is that it fails to properly portray the characters in the games and “dub” them into the game. The star cast is a given, but it also fails to voice the characters authentically, giving them an alien and forced voice. Although Hungarian viewers can watch the film in the cinema with the dubbing, they would not have fared much better with the original. Chris Pratt as Mario, for example, fails to convey the character’s cheerful and brave personality, but only speaks in a bored and jaded voice. But Anya Taylor-Joy Peach as Princess Peach also fails to show the strong and independent side of the character, but only plays a weak girl in need of help. As for Charlie Day’s Luigi, he also fails to play the character’s shy and funny side, but is an annoying and unnecessary supporting character. Lastly, Jack Black as Bowser is unable to embody the evil and fearsome side of the character either, but only creates a buffoonish and ridiculous antagonist. The rest of the voice-over actors can’t stand out either, they just give the characters a clichéd and forgettable voice. The Hungarian dubbing was similarly weak and forgettable or downright annoying.



No miracle here


The Super Mario Bros. The movie is really spectacular, but unfortunately it is a big disappointment for anyone who loves games or who was hoping for a good animated movie. The creators have failed to bring back the genius and creativity of the games, but have just made a boring and clichéd series of animations. They failed to really appeal to either old fans or new viewers, merely delivering a forgettable and pointless creation.

Although the (slightly syrupy…), fabulous and visually very attractive visuals are really in place, the atmosphere is not there, just a clichéd and forced story that adults get their money’s worth. The foreign and Hungarian dubbing is both weak and annoying – Chris Pratt, for example, will not be remembered for his work. Like Nintendo gamers, I think they’ll prefer to revisit the games over and over again, and this one will fade into oblivion faster than Mario can whore himself out with “It’s a me! Mario!”






Super Mario Bros. The Movie

Direction - 3.6
Actors - 2.9
Story - 1.2
Visuals/Music/Sounds - 6.8
Ambience - 1.5



The Super Mario Bros. The film is a disappointing animated film based on the video game series that fails to recreate the charm, humour and excitement of the games, instead telling a clichéd and forced story with characters that look nothing like the original characters. The film appeals neither to fans nor to new viewers, but is a forgettable and pointless piece of work. The film fails to achieve the success and acclaim of the games, but only draws flak and criticism.

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines – including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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