The definitive “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” review

Samantha Fitts, down bad for animated women

Illustration by Amelia Ebling.

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

I hate to admit it, but this movie did not have the right to be as good as it actually was. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is a kid’s film first and foremost, meaning the plot isn’t the deepest, the dialogue is kind of lame and the characters have very little motivation and development. It’s no “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” but that doesn’t mean it was bad.

First, the voice acting. It wasn’t even that bad. Chris Pratt’s voice was a mix between him and actual Mario, and it was okay except for the few lines he phoned in. The only person I didn’t like was Cranky Kong, who sounded a little weird and had terrible lines. Seth Rogan’s Donkey Kong was incredible, especially with the Seth Rogan laugh that he does thrice. Anya Taylor-Joy’s Peach got me a little too worked up. Keegan Michael-Key was a great Toad, Jack Black’s Bowser was amazing (especially with his song) and Charlie Day had the perfect bitch-boy energy for Luigi. 

The movie was fucking gorgeous, and in the scenes without talking, there was so much visual and audio storytelling: from a genuinely terrifying Drybones chase sequence, to a gorgeous Rainbow Road “Mario Kart” fight scene and the unique environments of the Mushroom, Kong and Koopa kingdoms.

The soundtrack perfectly blended Mario game music into orchestral tracks. With songs like “Holding Out for a Hero,” “Thunderstruck,” “Take on Me” and “The DK Rap,” it was truly a jamming time.

Now, for my favorite parts. The nihilist Luma was fucking hilarious. The jokes from the trailers were the tip of the iceberg. It said some incredibly dark shit that had us busting up in the back row. So many people die on screen; it’s weird that it’s a kid’s movie at this point. We literally see a Koopa incinerated into a Drybones. And then … at the very end … they shrink Bowser down and put him in a jar. BOWSER IS IN A CUM JAR. Who knows what Toad was getting up to after that?

The mid-credit scene was incredible. The post-credit scene was lame. I’d give it a Fresh, worth watching.