“The Tremendous Mario Bros. Film” Is Nostalgic Enjoyable!

HOLLYWOOD—I was born in the 80’s and grew up with the video game craze. One of the first video games I ever owned and played was 1985’s Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Gaming System (NES). There are many people who think the game is pretty easy, but all those people who say that were not victorious when they beat the game. However, I was one of those people.

I’m a fan of seeing an actual animated version of the video game as a movie. This ’90s live-action version just didn’t work. Hello, you’re talking about a cartoon character being made into actual plumbers, not sure who thought that would work. Almost 40 years later we have the version of the flick that fans of the classic game would enjoy, while kids will love it. Look, don’t expect anything narratively original.

Chris Pratt will voice Mario and Charli Day will voice Luigi in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The brothers branched out and started their own plumbing business, hoping to break into business after exiting one of their competitors. The antics are pretty hilarious for kids and adults might get a giggle here or there at first.

The narrative follows the brothers as they try to save Brooklyn, New York from a major plumbing problem. Instead, they stumble across a secret subterranean world that takes them to the Mushroom Kingdom, where they meet Toad (voiced by Keegan Michael-Key), who is hilarious. Toad is without a doubt the comic relief of the whole film. Luigi was transported to the Dark Land controlled by Bowser (Jack Black’s voice). Of course we have Princess Peach (voiced by Anya Taylor-Joy) who is smitten with Mario and the leader of the Mushroom Kingdom. Bowser has been given a “Superstar” that grants him the power of invincibility as he journeys to conquer all worlds, including the Jungle Kingdom led by King Cranky Kong (voiced by Fred Armisen). The character is animated a bit, and Armisen puts that animation into the character’s voice, which goes perfectly with it.

The fight between Mario and Donkey Kong (voiced by Seth Rogan) is just one testament to how the narrative really wants to take adults back to their childhood. The replica sets, even if animated, are much like how we video game fans remember growing up. I love the tongue-in-cheek to Ridley Scott’s 2000 classic Gladiator. There’s the iconic scene reminiscent of Mario Kart, which is hilarious and also full of iconic moments-stealing scenes. The film really hits all the notes of various games in the franchise over the decades.

I love how the film’s visual effects remind adults who played the video game as teenagers. You’ve got the floating bricks, you’ve got the iconic ‘?’ Signs that bestow various powers; The filmmakers do an excellent job of making you feel like you’re in a video game. That scene with Princess Peach and Mario going through that obstacle course was epic. The nostalgia is fantastic and will instantly bring any child born in the 80’s, 90’s or 00’s and Super Mario Bros. back to your youth.

I was more invested in the flick than my nieces and nephews, which only underlines how much things from the past remind you of your childhood or time as a kid, which The Super Mario Bros. Movie effortlessly does. It never feels forced. I love the theme of brotherly love and family bonds against all odds; even those that seem impossible. Will there be a sequel? Without a doubt, and there should be one as to how entertaining this part turned out to be, it was a bigger surprise than I expected.

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