The Reel Review


Mario embarks on a rescue mission with Princess Peach after his brother Luigi is kidnapped by the evil Bowser, King of the Loompas. Chris Pratt, Charlie Day and Anya Taylor-Joy provide the voices in this animated fantasy tale based on the iconic, 40-year-old Nintendo video game series.

Mario and Princess Peach in The Super Mario Bros Movie

There are those who will say this film is little more than an hour-and-a-half-long Nintendo ad – and they would be absolutely right. Even so, with its candy-colored, crystal-clear animation, The Super Mario Bros Movie visually is one of the most faithful video game film adaptations ever made. Hardcore Mario gamers will love all the character references and details sprinkled throughout the film, including nods to other games like Mario Kart, Luigi’s Mansion and Donkey Kong.

Toad and Mario in the Mushroom Kingdom in The Super Mario Bros Movie

If only the story was half as impressive. Rather than go for something clever and thought-provoking, screenwriter Matthew Fogel takes the safe, dull route with a listless screenplay that feels more like a string of cut scenes in between actual game play – an afterthought to the eye-popping visuals. Even the voice work – particularly Pratt’s – seems phoned-in. The Super Mario Bros Movie is great visual fun for young children and hardcore Mario gamers but will almost certainly bore everyone else.


The Super Mario Bros Movie has been a major commercial success, grossing $1.357 billion worldwide and setting multiple box-office records, including being the highest-grossing film based on a video game and so far, the biggest box office hit of 2023.

Anya Taylor-Joy dressed in Princess Peach’s racing outfit at the film’s premiere

• Anya Taylor-Joy edged out the following actresses to win the role of Princess Peach: Kristen Bell, Jodie Comer, Jennifer Lawrence, Mandy Moore, Chloë Grace Moretz, Emma Stone and Amanda Seyfried.

• The next big project for screenwriter Matthew Fogel (Minions: The Rise of Gru, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part) is the live action Prince Charming, about Cinderella’s boyfriend.


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