The Super Mario Bros Movie 2023 Movie Review: As A Game: Great. As A Movie: Tedious.

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The Super Mario Bros Movie 2023 Movie Review

Director: Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic Adapted from: Mario

Cast (Voices): Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor- Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, and Fred Armisen.:

Music: Brian Tyler

Editing: Eric Osmond


With help from Princess Peach, Mario gets ready to square off against the all-powerful Bowser to stop his plans from conquering the world.

The Super Mario Bros Movie 2023 Movie Review:

Sometimes you come across a movie that takes no risks. It’s light on the story, avoids character development, and focuses on getting to the next scene as easily as possible. Mario Bros. Doesn’t have any inherent plot holes or issues, but it tends to leave you in a state of just being a viewer rather than participating in the movie.

In the end, it’s not bad but comes off as flat and lifeless. The entire story was loosely stitched together around how to force Mario (and Luigi) into scenarios that reference familiar gameplay, from the classic obstacle courses to rainbow road, DK Country, Luigi’s mansion, etc.

Until they get to the boss battle. As a game: great. You have the controller in your hands. And every time you score coins, collect inventory, beat levels, etc. You get a little dopamine hit.

The Super Mario Bros Movie Movie Review » Broadway Originals
The Super Mario Bros Movie 2023 Movie Review

Movies aren’t about that. I’m not necessarily saying the Mario IP can’t work as a movie, but the screenwriters didn’t focus much on adapting it into a MOVIE. Fan service is necessary when adapting something that comes with a fanbase, but it should not be prioritized over the story.

Unfortunately, this movie was 90% fan service and as a result, Mario and Luigi turned into plot-driven characters who were as passive as two sticks in a river (of sewage).

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The film’s humor is disappointing….despite a few instances of genuinely funny interactions, mostly coming from Jack Black’s lovelorn Bowser, a vast majority of the gags are very Illumination, they’re the kind of jokes that a long- distant uncle might make, or a teacher, just the blandest, most generic instances of comedy…

like a Sunday comic strip from the 1940s that sends kids and parents looking for an easy laugh-off, but lacks any real thought or craft, at least, though, there are no fart jokes, a mainstay in Illumination’s filmography.

The Super Mario Bros Movie 2023 Movie Review
The Super Mario Bros Movie 2023 Movie Review

The characters are very bland too, every character is slotted neatly into an archetype and is not allowed to leave that for a second to show even the slightest degree of depth, the characters are, in fact, giving more depth in certain video games, such as the ‘Luigi’s Mansion’ or the ‘Paper Mario’ series, this results in barely any eternal conflict for the characters, which, on top of a bland story makes the film drag on even more.

All of this is topped off with pacing that moves faster than a bullet bill, which makes everything feel like a sugar-induced fever dream, and, some characters who are shockingly missing, even from brief cameos.

The voice cast was actually decent! I don’t always love Illumination’s insistence on hiring big-name actors over voice actors, but it worked here for the most part. Jack Black was awesome as Bowser, same goes for Anya Taylor- Joy as Peach, and the rest of the cast was pretty good too!

Also, Read The Independent 2022 Review: “Nothing Groundbreaking But It Has Few Moments”

But here’s the big question: how was Chris Pratt’s Mario voice? And the answer – it was fine. He did well for what they had him do, although I didn’t love that this Mario had a Brooklyn accent over the classic Italian one. I thought it worked for the most part, but I still would have preferred they just use the original Mario voice.

The Super Mario Bros Movie 2023 Movie
The Super Mario Bros Movie 2023 Movie Review

The positives are all agreed upon by anyone who likes it because the positives stand out by not being able to be compared against anything else. People have fun with the action.

They love Easter eggs. And the composed music is good. The action is done well, but without much dramatic weight, only carrying the movie so far. Easter eggs don’t nor should have any bearing on how good the ovoid is.

The music was well incorporated, minus the pop songs that truly don’t work. It’s not good enough to play things easy and rely on fans to spot visual Easter eggs, to call the movie good.

It’s average at best mostly because it was watchable and didn’t have any outright flaws. It just didn’t take chances that could’ve ended up becoming flaws.


The ‘Mario’ movie was a disappointing experience for me, I went in expecting nothing more than a fun time with a few good jokes akin to ‘Sonic 2’, but instead I got a sugary pile of slop, that I can’t see anyone under the age of 10 enjoy.

Even if you had a good time watching it, there’s not enough value to see it again. If you’re a fan, check it out. If not, you won’t miss a thing by skipping it.

Raj Shekar

“I would travel down to hell and wrestle a film away from the devil if it was necessary.” “when people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘no, I went to films’.”