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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ review: It’s a kid’s movie — relax

The new Mario movie is packed with impeccable animation and slapstick comedy

<p>“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” hit theaters on April 5.</p>

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” hit theaters on April 5.

Leave your neckbeards and fedoras at home. If you’re looking for a plot-driven drama thriller about two little Italian guys stomping on turtles, this is not the movie for you. 

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is, surprise surprise, catered toward kids — but that doesn’t mean that people of all ages can’t enjoy our two favorite plumbers on the adventure of a lifetime. 

The film was directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, both known for their work on “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” as well as the series, “Teen Titans Go!” Like in their work on the DC show, the duo’s trademark slapstick humor is front and center in “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” . 

While the film’s comedy is moderately corny, that’s to be expected from a kids movie. What makes this type of humor palatable is that the movie is aware of its clichés and keeps them to a minimum.

The plot of this film follows your regular old hero’s journey; There’s no character-driven kino, but it’s loads of fun to watch. Illumination Entertainment, the artists behind “Despicable Me” and “The Secret Life of Pets,” did the animation for the film and wow did they deliver.

From perfectly-cast shadows and lighting to blemishes on animated characters’ skin, this movie takes detail very seriously. Illumination perfected the physics of each character’s clothes and hair blowing in the wind. 

A fiction film, especially if it’s animated, has one job: to make the audience suspend disbelief and transport themselves into the world of the movie. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” does just that — and gives you a reason or two to chuckle along the way. 

One of Nintendo fans’ biggest concerns pre-release was Chris Pratt’s voice-acting role as the movie’s titular character. Pratt, best known for playing Star-Lord in “Guardians of The Galaxy,” wasn’t exactly your average Mario fan’s first choice for the voice of the plumbing paisano. Some were even concerned that Pratt wouldn’t don an Italian accent. (In contrast, fans were delighted to hear that Charlie Day was cast as Luigi.) 

Pratt proved those fears to be unfounded. He did a wonderful job voicing Mario, incorporating a slight accent while not going over the top. 

The voice acting in this film is generally great, but Jack Black truly knocks it out of the park as the voice of Bowser. After a four-year hiatus from acting, Black brings his fiery personality to the brutish king of the Koopas. 

Every scene with Bowser is down-right chilling, as Black breathes life into the character with a guttural, menacing tone.  

Anyone who plans on seeing this film should remind themselves that this movie was made for kids. Sure, there are callbacks to the original games, but this movie isn’t a middle-aged nostalgia trip. 

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” may not be a profound piece of cinema, but it’s definitely a fun watch for people and families of all ages. 

Dylan Greco is the opinion editor and can be reached at dylan.greco@ubspectrum.com

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