Review: The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)


Joshua Stephen, Writer

The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023) was first announced in 2018, and until 2021, we didn’t hear much about the film’s production. It was a surprise to many that Illumination Entertainment would be the ones producing the movie, especially considering how they were, and still are to an extent, known for making movies that were just okay in terms of quality of story. To no surprise, the Mario Movie is also rather lacking in terms of story, but despite that, it’s still very fun to watch. The animation is very good, character movements flow well, and exaggeration is used well in this movie too. The voice cast is honestly amazing, even though many people doubted that Chris Pratt would do the character of Mario justice with his performance, I found myself pleasantly surprised at his performance. Chris’s performance as Mario sounds more like a normal person than his video game counterpart, which really works to the movie’s advantage. Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Micheal Key, Seth Rogan, and Anya Taylor-Joy were also amazing. Charlie Day as Luigi felt so natural. Jack Black killed it as Bowser, he really brought the menacing side of Bowser justice, while also providing some of his classic humorous charm. Keegan-Micheal Key was really fun as Toad, and I honestly wish he had more scenes because I loved his performance. Seth Rogan did a great job as Donkey Kong, his voice fits so well with the version of DK they wanted to portray in this movie, and Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance as Princess Peach was exactly what I had expected. She did both sides of Peach’s personality in this film justice. The film’s pacing is a little fast, and it often feels like they cut a scene or part of a scene to get to the next action scene. The action scenes in this film are amazing. They utilize the set pieces in interesting ways and seem to always have the most interesting camera angles and placements, and the music is good too. The score heavily relies on referencing other music tracks from the Mario series, which unfortunately does drag it down at times, and the references aren’t exactly subtle either. They’re very in your face, which gets a little annoying if you know the source material. Ultimately, I think that The Super Mario Bros. Movie is the kind of movie you really have to see for yourself to determine if you’ll enjoy it. I would definitely recommend this film to everyone because even with all of the references, it is still a really fun watch on its own.