Friday, April 28, 2023

‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ fun for kids and maybe adults

By Matt Pascarella

Rated: PG
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes

Mario and his brother Luigi are struggling plumbers from Brooklyn, New York who just sunk all their money into a new commercial they are very proud of but doesn’t have the phone ringing. When they both fall down a magic pipe the two are split up and sent to different parts of an alternate dimension. Mario must work with Princess Peach and an assortment of other characters recognizable from the Mario universe to find Luigi and stop Bowser before it’s too late.

I grew up with Mario trying to save the princess. I enjoyed this movie with the references and nostalgia it brought up.

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” has an amazing cast of Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jessica DiCicco, Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Armisen and Seth Rogen.

Mario and Luigi watch their commercial for their new plumbing business. Mario’s father is unhappy with this choice and tells both of them that you don’t leave a steady job to follow a dream. Mario’s dad is upset with him for bringing his brother into the plumbing business.

Business isn’t booming either and people like Spike (Maniscalco) make fun of the brothers. Mario is tired of feeling small.

When a plumbing emergency happens, the brothers rush to the scene. Things don’t go as planned though. The brothers make a discovery and are sucked into another dimension but get separated and sent to different parts – one cheerier than the other.

Mario is sent to the Mushroom Kingdom and meets Toad (Key) who takes him to meet Princess Peach (Taylor-Joy). Luigi is sent to Bowser’s (Black) Dark Lands and is in trouble.

Bowser is headed toward the Mushroom Kingdom, but Princess Peach is adamant she won’t let anything bad happen.

Bowser has plans to marry Princess Peach and won’t be happy if she says no. When he learns of Mario spending time with her, he imprisons Luigi after learning they are brothers.

The trio meets Cranky Kong (Armisen) who will lend his army to the fight against Bowser if Mario can beat Donkey Kong (Rogen) in a Colosseum-style fight – kind of.

Mario Karts are used on the way to defeat Bowser and save Luigi. The group takes Rainbow Road. Things don’t exactly go as planned there either.

As Mario travels and meets various characters, there are classic Mario sound effects accompanied by a solid soundtrack of music from the 1980s. It also features many characteristics from the various games like flying bullets, fire-flower power-ups and swimming squids.

This was a fun movie, but it’s one that’s definitely geared toward a younger audience. There aren’t a lot of jokes for adults, but there are some. Plus, if you grew up playing any of the Mario Bros. games, there is a nostalgia aspect. The storyline moves relatively well, and I was interested to see where it was going. Bowser has a pretty ear-wormy song about the princess. I did spot several Easter Eggs, which I thought was cool.

Two blue mushrooms up.

Now playing only in theaters. <

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