A sad let down loaded with potential

As a previous fan of past Nintendo games, I had high hopes for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” but it was clearly targeted for children and nothing more. Filled with many cliches along with very childish comedy, it let my expectations down. 

Hitting the theaters on April 5 from Universal Pictures, Illumination and Nintendo, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” attracted many watchers seeking excitement from a variety of games released in the past. It presented many references to nostalgic Nintendo games such as “Donkey Kong,” “Mario Kart,” and “Mario World.”

While the movie introduces Mario and Luigi in Brooklyn, the majority of the film takes place in the Mushroom World, where Mario meets Princess Peach and Toad, who all go on their adventure to find and defeat Bowser. 

Throughout the movie, the protagonist, Mario, develops his character while learning and familiarizing himself with this new world. The movie also includes many nostalgic scenes, such as a Donkey Kong battle, the rainbow bridge and the many power-ups seen in the past games.

When this movie first released its trailer, Chris Pratt was announced as the voice for Mario, which many people including myself thought was a mistake, and it clearly was. I never got used to hearing Chris Pratt’s voice as Mario, as it simply did not feel correct, which took away a lot from the movie. 

Sadly, Chris Pratt as Mario was not the only thing the movie missed the mark on. Donkey Kong was also a let down, as his character seemed way too childish due to his constant strive for his father’s approval. On top of that, Princess Peach’s character changed drastically, compared to her original character from the games. This was due to the change of traditional gender roles, whereas now she is the savior.

Although there are many aspects that take away from the movie content, the animation was Mario’s saving grace. From the visually pleasing contrast of the Bowser volcano versus the Ice Kingdom, to my favorite scene, the race on the Rainbow Bridge, the film showcased many small details unique to the video game franchise, all of which added to the movie’s quality.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, critics rated it 59% rotten, but the general audience gave it a rating of 96% fresh who enjoyed the movie. This discrepancy occurred primarily because fans’ opinions resonated with nostalgia.

When I watched the movie, within the first scene I realized that this movie was primarily geared toward children. When I accepted that fact, the movie became significantly more enjoyable. The nostalgia the movie relied on wasn’t enough to sustain my positive opinion.