Mario misses the mark

Zoe Law, Opinion and Entertainment writer

The Super Mario Bros. Movie came to theaters April 5, 2023, and made a big smash. The movie broke all the box office records on opening weekend, which may suggest a good movie, but it was quite the opposite.  

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is an animated movie based on the classic Nintendo video game and it strives to interest young ones, through kid-friendly references, and parents, through the heaping amounts of nostalgia that the movie brings.  

While the intent of the movie is clear, Universal Studios struggled to fit everything it needed into one film.  

The movie tried to incorporate Mario Cart, the original Mario game, the Super Mario Bros, and all the locations and characters associated with Mario. It was a stretch to fit all of that in a 1-and-a-half-hour movie, and they dramatically failed when it came to the story line. It was quite easy to see what Universal was willing to sacrifice when it came to The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and it was the plot.  

The plot was confusing and hard to follow. While Universal tried to cover it up with action and colors, it was very lacking. There was a lesson, but no true character development and Wario’s “interest” in Princess Peach was quite concerning considering the movie was targeted at children.  

Following with the usual Mario games, Princess Peach is in trouble, Bowser is the main villain, Luigi is more of a side character that causes more harm than good, and Mario is the hero. Because they followed these predictable stereotypes, it made the movie very predictable and struggled to bring in a “wow” factor.  

Throughout the Mario video games, Princess Peach is normally portrayed as a victim that needs saving by Mario, and while times have changed and the movie reflected that, I do not think Princess Peach should have been seen as a prize at all. I understand that she was seen as such by Bowser, but there still seemed to be this idea of her needing to be saved or won by other characters, such as the Toads or Mario.  

While I do not think this movie was good, the graphics were magnificent. The rolling hills of the mushroom kingdom and the use of color made the pop and gave beautiful 3D dimensions to these previous two-dimensional characters.  

One of the most anticipated parts of The Super Mario Bros. Movie was Bowser’s song. Jack Black, who plays Bowser, has an unexpected voice and this surprising moment was the only other thing that was good about the movie. I did not like the song’s theme as it shows that Bowser was not taking no for an answer and this should not be something children should learn, but the song’s vocals were very impactful.  

Overall, I rate The Super Mario Bros. Movie as a 1/5. The movie lacked plot and theme and was confusing a lot of the time. There is a lot of room for improvement and if there is a second movie, I hope there will be a lot of changes.