The Super Mario Bros. Movie

The Super Mario Bros. Movie ★½

As a movie, it's bad. As audiovisual Mario content, it's still pretty bad, and probably a worse use of your time than watching cool speedruns, video essays about the inner workings of Super Mario 64, or even the cutscenes from the games.

Between uninspired celebrity casting, bad song choices, and a fixation on the isekai aspect that doesn't lead to anything apart from a lot of tedious "well that happened"-style humor, just about every mistake you would expect this kind of movie to be capable of is made. And while the vibrant, detailed environments usually please the eye, the stylization of the human characters is kind of hideous, making closeups of them feel hard to look at.

In terms of filmmaking, however, the biggest issue is the pacing. With no room to breathe at all, it's the most disorientingly fast blockbuster I've seen since The Rise of Skywalker. Characters instantly know what they need to know to keep the plot rolling, establishing shots are as short as they can be, and every conflict is immediately resolved with more action. There is an overwhelming sense of weightlessness to the movie; its climax feels less like the culmination of the plot and more like the final part of the ongoing nonstop action sequence.

The response The Super Mario Bros. Movie works so hard to elicit from viewers is "what did you expect?" Did you expect it to be good? Did you expect to feel an emotion? Did you expect some sort of insightful commentary of or a transformative new angle into the source material? If you did, you shouldn't have; turn off your brain and enjoy your slop. The first ten minutes are the only part that resembles an original idea, a cool new take on the characters and the world.

And this is the most offensive thing about the movie – Mario is an icon, a symbol of gaming on the whole, and even if the franchise doesn't necessarily give a cinematic adaptation that much to work with, declaring that this is all you can do with it kind of feels like giving up.

Block or Report

purkka liked these reviews