This week we head from a high rise in Evil Dead Rise to Mushroom Kingdom!! We are on an adventure with the Super Mario brothers. I am sure many of you are familiar with these guys. Both Mario and Luigi were flagships with Nintendo video games. Mario originally appeared in Donkey Kong in 1981 as the protagonist jumping barrels to save Princess Peach. We then have Mario Bros. in 1983 which was the brothers first game of their own. I can remember this being one of the first games I remember playing as a child. I can hear the music as I am writing this. My brother and I loved growing up and these characters and EVEN enjoyed the live action 1993 movie Super Mario Bros. That was a complete and utter failure. We have made it 30 years from that film and now Illumination (you’ll know from Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets, and Sing franchises) has decided to put the brothers back in action. So, the question is…Would this be any good? Or more inline with the 1993 failure.
Onto the film.
We open in Brooklyn and meet Mario (Pratt) and Luigi (Day) who have started their own plumbing business. We see they aren’t getting a ton of business, so they film a commercial and play up the Italian accents. This is a running joke, because there was controversy before the film came out regarding Chris Pratt’s accent (or lack of) in this film. We will get more into that later. We then see that there is a water link in the main city line and the brothers rush to fix it! This doesn’t work out well. They get sucked into Mushroom Kingdom by a Warp Pipe (these are all devices in the game) However, Luigi (Day) actually gets taken to the Dark Lands. Which is ruled by the evil Bowser (Black) We learn that while the brothers were trying to get their business off the ground, in Mushroom Kingdom Bowser (Black) is threatening to destroy everything if Princess Peach (Taylor-Joy) won’t marry him! Come on man..She’s not interested!
I won’t dive anymore into the plot besides the fact that more classic characters come into play. We see alliances attempting to be formed to fight this movie’s big bad. This is where the film struggles in one-character in particular. Donkey Kong is voiced by Seth
Rogan. He is terrible in this film. All of the other characters, even Chris Pratt change their voices to mimic their character. They add some gruff, they say lines with a twist, there’s actual acting. Seth Rogan talks like Seth Rogan. It’s such a shame because I usually like him as an actor, but he is wrong for this role. Thankfully this isn’t the Donkey Kong movie, and he is in a supporting role. It’s annoying but you get over it pretty quick. If this film gets a sequel and it will as we speak it has already made ONE BILLION DOLLARS, I hope they recast Donkey Kong. Or just have him go rule the Jungle Kingdom. Everyone else was great, especially Jack Black who really owned the role of Bowser and Anya Taylor-Joy is always fantastic, this type as the butt-kicking Princess Peach. She is not a damsel in distress as she was portrayed in the earlier games. The animation is as to be expected and WELL DONE, which we all come to expect good things from Illumination. If you’re a fan of Nintendo’s arguably biggest flagship go see this film, if you love animation, go see this film, if you love Seth Rogan, you’ve probably already seen it. That’s being said. Take your kids, grandkids, or just sneak off for a matinee. 4 stars out of 5