Home » “The Super Mario Bros” Movie Review: Surprisingly Delightful, Except For This One Thing

“The Super Mario Bros” Movie Review: Surprisingly Delightful, Except For This One Thing

by Shaye Wyllie
8 minutes read
the super mario bros movie review

I’ll be honest … if it weren’t for Alamo Drafthouse sending us tickets to see “The Super Mario Bros Movie”, I probably wouldn’t have took my daughter, her best friend, and my mom to see this. After my daughter and I saw the trailer on TV we both agreed it looked sus, and we’d skip it. No seriously. So the fact that I’m writing this review right now is a full blown Christmas miracle you guys, because we originally planned not to watch “The Super Mario Bros Movie”.

But it’s a damn good thing Alamo Drafthouse sent us those tickets, because this movie was freaking awesome! Like … wow did it shock TF outta me! I’m still a little surprised at how good this movie was, when the trailer was so damn awful. The voice acting in the trailer felt off, and I hate when you can hear a voice actor’s voice — not the character they’re playing. So I really wanted nothing to do with this movie.

However, I’m so glad we had the chance to see this! If you’re STILL wondering why you should go see this in theaters, keep reading.

Full “Super Mario Bros Movie” Review

super mario bros movie poster

“The Super Mario Bros Movie” Is Surprisingly Delightful, Except For This One Thing

Almost everything about “The Super Mario Bros Movie” is perfect!

So there’s not much I can say about this film that our review below doesn’t already say. I mean the visuals and the animation is colorful and just wonderful! Down to the mushrooms even looking real!

The music is cheeky and incredibly fun! So fun in fact — my daughter and I were singing along and bopping our heads so much, I never even had the chance to look around the theater to see if anyone else was enjoying themselves like I normally do, nor did I have time to feel even the least bit “embarrassed” for rocking out so hard. It was just too much damn fun to care about anyone else. Plus, the movie is super funny! Those jokes landed well, (unlike the “Dungeons and Dragons” movie) and I’m shocked, because it’s definitely a PG film! They had no right making this dang thing so funny!

Then there’s the star of the show, Princess Peach — who’s a complete badass!

super mario bros movie review princess peach
(from left) Toad (Keegan-Michael Key) and Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) in Nintendo and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic.

Which meant a freaking lot to the little Black girl in me, who grew up in the 90s and played video games ever so often with her older brother and male cousins! It made me so happy to see the “girl character” be much better than the boys! If you used the female characters in video games like Super Mario Bros, or even Sonic, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, you probably got made fun of for choosing them, I know I did.

I was always told “of course you’d pick the girl” or “pick a different one, that one’s not as strong” and sometimes even though I didn’t say it out loud, it made me a little sad. I wanted to use the characters I thought were cool, ya know, I didn’t really care about winning, or who was the strongest. It was just great to play, but of course the boys didn’t see it that way. They were hardcore gamers who spent hours playing! This was their life!

So to have Princess Peach be the best dang player in this game world meant so much to me! And there’s a lot that can be said about having the female character be better than her male counterparts! Especially for the little girls watching.

And I’m not sure if they did this intentionally, but I sure do appreciate it.

But Browser’s character is a little bit cringy.

super mario bros movie review
(from left, centered) Bowser (Jack Black) and Kamek (Kevin Michael Richardson) in Nintendo and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic.

Okay, he’s a whole lot cringy. While his songs are hilarious, his plan to force Princess Peach to marry him, or else … is a lot. It wasn’t too distracting, where it made me hate the movie, clearly I loved it. But every time it was mentioned, it did make me feel weird.

I mean … why is he forcing her to marry him? How many narratives already teach our boys bad behavior, and our girls to just accept it? Why in the world, in 2023, do we still need to keep this narrative going? Do we not have any other ideas for conflict? Could it not easily have been funny if he was just scared to ask her on a date, and couldn’t deal with rejection well — and that’s what made him angry? Men suck at rejection, and it would have been great to use this film to highlight how they should react better when rejected.

But just off the rip wanting to force someone to marry them is a little outdated and cringy. And it’s not a great message for our kids. So this definitely put a sour taste in my mouth while watching.

Luckily, the rest of the movie is indeed a pleasure to watch.

Especially this guy, who’s a little depressing, and ironically super negative, for someone who’s so darn cute — but completely hilarious.

Lumaleee (Juliet Jelenic) in Nintendo and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic.

So Browser becomes a minor issue in the story, and it’s easy for the kids to ignore.

I just want folks to be mindful when they’re creating movies for kids that the messages they include can sometimes be harmful. And we can’t just laugh it off and pretend it doesn’t have an impact! Had it not been for this part of the story — this movie would have easily gotten a full 5/5 score, and it does deserve all the praise it’s getting.

So make sure you watch this in theaters ASAP! I can’t wait to watch it again. And as soon as we left the theaters, I was super excited because I know soon it’ll be on DVD and BluRay and I can’t wait to own this one! It’s that good!

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