The story of The Super Mario Bros. on their journey through the Mushroom Kingdom.
Who is the Audience for This Movie?
Middle aged gamers & children.
As you get older and look back on things from your childhood it can be mixed bag of emotions due to the rose colored glasses of Nostalgia. There are many mainstream properties that are currently struggling to remain both relevant and consistent as the media landscape changes. I had the displeasure of watching the original live action Mario Bros movie in the theater with my brother when it came out. Even today its difficult to put into words how utterly baffling that movie was/is. That movie decided to do its “own thing” rather then capture the essence of its source material. The 2023 Super Mario Bros Movie rights all the wrongs of its predecessor so much so that it makes me slightly mad and happy at the same time. The wait between the 2 movies was 30 years and in that time Mario videos games have come out at a breakneck pace with the quality always ranging from good to fantastic. That time to hone the world and tone of Mario ensured this movie would be nothing but a great time I wish 7 year old me could watch it. I am glad that there is a bright future for Mario in cinema.
I guess at this point I should actually talk about the movie itself. From the first frame the visuals stand out immediately, you could say they look like a AAA video game cinematic and if you did you would be giving it the best compliment you could since graphics in video game cinematics in 2023 are mind blowing. Sticking with the shiny eye popping coloring does nothing but enhance the “other world” feel of all the locations.
Mario video game stories have been all over the map over the last 40 years, they rarely connect to each other and in many ways the games are better for it so it would have been a daunting task to somehow tie 40 years of lore and characters together. On the character front they introduce not only the Mario main stays but other Nintendo characters with the proper attention they deserve. It is very obvious this was done to ensure they could make proper spinoffs of any of their characters. The choice to put so many characters in the movie pays off only because along with their introduction they show glimpses of the larger world the movie takes place. After the movie was over I already thinking about all the spinoffs I would definitely watch.
If your a nerd like me you eye is going to be drawn to things in the background along with all the small easter eggs that reference so many Mario games it gets tough to keep track of them all making a second viewing almost mandatory.
My only true critique is that the pacing is the only thing saving this movie from falling apart from a story standpoint. It moves along so quickly that it does not give you the chance to question anything. On my second viewing I can already see that it will become a little more of a problem.