The Super Mario Bros movie was full of easter eggs, but did that leave much room for plot?


Provided by Universal Pictures

The Super Mario Brothers movie is showing at Dublin Regal Cinema.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie, an adaptation of the Nintendo games created by Shigeru Miyamoto, released in theaters on April 5th, 2023. The movie brought many of the game concepts to life with many references and easter eggs. Even though the movie had a weak plot, the movie broke box office records for the highest grossing video game movie. The movie was Nintendo’s third ever movie adaptation of the Mario Bros video game series, after the 1986 Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach! and the 1993 live action Super Mario Bros.. 

 The movie began with the brothers Mario and Luigi running an ad on their private plumbing business. They stumble upon a manhole which transported them down a mysterious pipe and into a magical new world.The brothers are separated, and Mario embarks on a quest to find Luigi where he ends up aiding Princess in defeating the villain Bowser. 

The movie is perfect for a night out with the family. The combination of Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, previous collaborators on Teen Titans Go!, directing the film along with screenwriter Matthew Fogel, known for his work on Minions: The Rise of Gru and The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, resulted in nothing short of a perfect family movie. With a narrative easy enough for a five year old to follow and superb animation which was curated perfectly, it is the next new family adventure movie 

With Mario and Luigi being the Italian-American plumbers starting their business, Peach being the princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, Toad as a sidekick to the plumbing duo, and Bowser as the supervillain, the story seems to cement itself in the well known characters of the Super Mario Bros. video game. However, the writer’s decision to replace Luigi with Peach as Mario’s duo to fight Bowser gave the movie a completely different feel, and it allowed the story to progress in a different way that was different to the original game.

The soundtrack was absolutely astounding. Using Koji Kondo’s original Super Mario themes, Emmy winner Brian Tyler created additional arrangements of the video game series’ original soundtrack with an orchestra, creating a recognizable but unique sound perfect for the cinema. The music contained almost a hundred musical references to the game as well, as counted by video game enthusiast and youtuber Nicolas Daoust.   

The main issue with the film is its overall narrative. The story seemed very bland with the most basic tropes. Mario has to rescue the kingdom and save his brother. Nothing more. The story brings in Donkey Kong in order to shake up the story, but it ends up having the opposite effect. The story seems to stay true to the game, but the story keeps itself in rigid lines, which makes the story very plain.  

Overall, the movie seems to be perfect for family and people who grew up with the series, with a lot of fanservice and references. The animation seemed to be on par with the soundtrack, creating a beautiful movie. Unfortunately, the movie seems to focus too much on the fan service, which resulted in subpar characters, and an even more rudimentary plot.