TL;DR – While frustrating in more places than it should be, it shines when it lands on the fun.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and end-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a screening of this film
The Super Mario Bros. Movie Review –
When this film was first announced, you could feel a general odd bemusement permeate through the internet, with relocations back to the last time they tried this in live action [a film that I have fond remembrances of, but that might be just the distance of time and youth as I have not seen it in decades]. That amusement was only highlighted when the lead cast was announced. A feeling that was only slightly abated when the first trailers landed. However, 2023 has been the year for good video game adaptations, so maybe this could work … maybe.
So to set the scene, Mario (Chris Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) are two brothers that have just started their own plumbing company in Brooklyn and Queens. They are trying to make a name for themselves when a water main bursts, and only they can fix it. But as they go underground to find the source, they stumble across a giant green pipe lying open. What harm could that do? Was the thought right before both brothers were sucked into a new world, one full of mushrooms and the other dark and foreboding.
TL;DR – A solid action flick, with a good homage to the titular video game, but it is not the golden gem the video game adaptation that is still eluding filmmakers
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene after the title card
The elusive video game adaption, for years Hollywood has tried to crack that particular gem. While comic book films like The Avengers and unfilmable literary epics like Lord of the Rings have found their feet, video game adaptations have remained just out of reach for the industry. In this battle, we have had disasters like Super Mario Bros. and close-but-no-cigar films like Warcraft. So today we have our first major attempt in a while to cross that divide … and it almost gets there.