Wahoo! New Mario Bros movie fun for all ages

For fans seeking to revisit childhood memories and connect with modern gameplay, the box office hit goes full nostalgia for a pleasant 90 minutes.


Nathan Trimmer, Adviser

    If you haven’t yet booked your seat to witness 40 years of Super Mario Brothers action piled into one, you need to. The new film stacks elements from classics like Donkey Kong Arcade, Mario Bros, Mario Kart and Super Mario 64 with more subtle and discreet video game easter eggs throughout the movie. Audiences take a ride on Rainbow Road, bear witness to a herd of Yoshi’s stampeding dinosaurs along the water and even a few Shy Guys assisting Bowser. 

Spoilers ahead…

    The newly released Super Mario Brothers Movie showcases Nintendo’s favorite Italian family and their journey to success – the American Dream – in Brooklyn, Ny. From the get-go, viewers bear witness to a community reception that is unkind to the dynamic duo as they aim to grow their plumbing business.

    After disaster strikes the city, Mario, voiced by Chris Pratt, and Luigi (Charlie Day) venture into the city’s decaying underground pipelines thus setting off a chain of events that lead to encounters with all of our video game favorites. 

    The intro to the story is simple and direct. Viewers are quick to learn that Luigi is lost and Mario must track him down with the help of Princess Peach (Anya Taylor Joy) and Toad (Keegan-Michael Key). The helpless, yet loveable mushroom head represents the population of Mushroom Kingdom. 

    Further troubles arise when Bowser, voiced by Jack Black, reveals his affection for Peach and his desire to make her his bride. The angry and hot-headed King of the Coopas will take nothing less than “yes” for an answer – ready to destroy the kingdom should she decline his invitation. 

    As Mario, Peach and Toad continue their journey, they are joined by Donkey Kong (Seth Rogan) and the largest army in the land – but only after Mario can prove his worth to Cranky Kong – voiced by Fred Armison. 

    Viewers are faced with an endless stream of Super Mario Brothers series references from all over the gaming category. Favorite characters create their own Mario kart, ride through rainbow road (and attempt the shortcut if you know what I’m talking about!), partake in challenges, puzzles and obstacle courses and must attempt to stay out of the underworld’s life-ending lava to boot. 

    As I sat in a theater full of grandparents, moms and dads accompanied by their young children ages four and up, it was impossible not to appreciate the script and its ability to connect with everyone – somehow, some way. 

    Though the storyline itself wasn’t the most polished, it is understood that a movie built to bring video game characters to life took precedence over creating the next great Freytag pyramid. For the duration of the film, I heard lots of laughter, giggling, whispers of “did you see that?” and “that’s my favorite character” after Lumilee, a character from Super Mario Bros Galaxy, contemplates mercy and misery through comedic brilliance.

    This film is not meant to have audiences complimenting its story; however, it is for viewers to remember the world they used to live in with the characters they used to love for who they were. It is about coming together to help complete strangers through the jungle of uncertainty and how together, we’re all stronger. 

    The film touched every corner of the Super Mario Bros universe in its own unique way and had me walking out wanting to step back into the world of Mario and Luigi and experience again what made them so super in the first place.