The Mario Movie: Hit or Miss?
As we all know, everybody and their mother has been looking foward to the release of the Super Mario Bros. movie. With it's release (April 5th, 2023) came flocks of families to the theaters. The atmosphere of the movie theater was energizing; you could really feel the child like wonder. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't a little bit excited to watch the movie. The trailers looked so lively and well animated, and we know how I feel about a beautifly animated movie (I really like them). That being said, this movie would probably be a miss to anybody who isn't over the age of 10 or somebody that isn't that into the Super Mario franchise.
The moive felt like it had no plot. The best way I can put it is: I felt like I was watching a compilation of the movie trailer clips rather than an actual movie. While the callbacks to earlier Mario games were fun, they felt a little forced. The writers making Princess Peach the "strong female lead" was very on the nose. Despite her being an empowering figure, she lacked so much depth. She had very "Mary Sue" like tendancies. Mary Sue is a term used to describe a fictional character, usually female, who is seen as too perfect and almost boring for lack of flaws. She was given a backstory that didn't even last 5 minuets. I would've loved to see just a tad bit depth to her character. This could be applied to virtually any main character, in all honesty. Also I have to say that Seth rogan as Donkey Kong absolutley threw me for a loop. Never would I have pictured Seth Rogans laugh come out of Donkey Kong's mouth.
Alternatively, Jack Black as Bowser makes the movie worth watching. His line delivery was absolutely perfect and hilaious. I feel like he was the only actor who was actually voice acting rather than just talking. I couldn't have casted a better person to play Bowser. His song "Peaches" is an absolute masterpiece. This is the part of the film that I'm absolutely biased towards. I am a huge Jack Black fan and Bowser is my favorite character. If anything, I hope they make a sequel but its just a Bowser movie.
Every grey cloud has a silver lining, though! The movies soundtrack was absolutly phenomenal. The orchestral renditions of all the Mario theme songs was so cool. It elevated them to a whole new level while also keeping them recognizable. The animation for this movie is absolutly amazing! Everything from the lighting, scenery, character movement and design, and teeny tiny details were all done so well. There's a perfect blend of realism and cartoonish proportions. It's kind of the opposite of the first draft of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. It's a "They got it right on thier first try" type of deal. My favorite example of the use of lighting and detailing is depicted below! Everything from the lense flare, the texture of Bowser's scales, and the light ommiting from the star is impeccable!
All in all I'd give this movie like 4.5/10. While it was obvious that this movie was geared towards children and mega-fans of the franchise, it was a fun watch! It was fan-servicey, corny, and a little cringe at times, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Personally, it was a bit of a miss for me. But hey, what do I know, I'm an adult that went and watched a kid's movie :P.
(Shout out Jonny Clark, a fellow camp member, for going with me to see the movie!)