The Super Mario Bros. Movie ★★★
Michael Jelenic, Aaron Horvath
Starring Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Anya Taylor-Joy, Keegan-Michael Key
As we’re living in a game adaption renaissance right now, it’s worth noting that us nerds haven’t had it this good in the past. While a Mario played by Bob Hoskins is good on paper, the sight of it in reality has us reaching for an extra life.
So it is with relief that this version of the moustached plumber’s adventures ticks most of the yellow boxes you would hope to tick. The world looks absolutely stunning: the colours pop, the mushrooms have a satisfying amount of give to them when bounced on, and the characters look just as you would want them to.
The voice acting is great too, with Chris Pratt (Mario) easing fears that it would just be his voice in Mario’s body. He does a great job of embodying the character, as do the rest of the cast. Jack Black’s Bowser is the highlight though, joining Jim Carrey in absolutely nailing a computer-game-based evil genius.
The story will be familiar to anyone who’s played a Mario game, except this time it’s Luigi (Charlie Day) we’re searching for and not Princess Peach. Anya Taylor-Joy’s Princess is, thankfully, fleshed out and a real character here, driving much of the story rather than sitting behind it.
Where this movie falters, ironically, is the sheer amount of nods to the game. At best it’s a great advert for Nintendo, at worst it feels like new ideas are thin on the ground; acting as fan-service rather than opening the world in a way only a movie version of Mario could do.
Luckily though there are enough new moments to make it exciting. This movie is at its best when it’s being original, with the final third being particularly exciting!
While low on the ground for laughs and originality, there’s enough fun for nerds, kids, Italian plumbers and adults alike.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie available in UK cinemas now