The Super Mario Bros. level-up to theaters

The classic childhood video game that occupied everyone’s televisions for decades has just taken over the screen in a new way. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” starring some of Hollywood’s most notable actors, hit the theaters Apr. 5 and has since generated intense applause.  

“The movie was a cinematic masterpiece with great animation and visuals. The story stuck to the classic games while also incorporating new Mario games. My favorite part was definitely the soundtrack,” Olivia Bryant, senior, said.  

Illumination Studios and Universal Pictures have teamed up with Nintendo to reboot the game in film-style. The movie has been in the works for several years, and Nintendo announced the cast in Sept. 2021. Chris Pratt, notable for his roles in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise, “Jurassic World,” and “The Lego Movie,” voices Mario. The decision to cast Pratt has since sparked disappointment and controversy, as many felt as though his voice abilities would not be sufficient enough to portray Mario’s Italian accent. Alongside him, Charlie Day is Luigi’s (Mario’s brother) voice actor. Anya Taylor-Joy portrays Princess Peach, Mario’s love interest. Finally, Jack Black is the voice talent for King Koopa, more commonly known as Bowser, Mario’s mortal enemy and Princess Peach’s captor. 

“The movie is guaranteed to make a ‘bowzillion’ dollars due to its incredible plot and interesting character design, all pulled together by an incredible performance from Jack Black and an acceptable performance from everyone else,” Nick Nejad, sophomore, said. 

The classic video game allows players to assume Mario or Luigi’s role as they fight their way through Mushroom Kingdom in order to save Princess Peach from Bowser. They take down enemies and traverse obstacles along the way. The movie adaptation includes the same elements but develops a more complex plot. King Bowser tries to obtain a Super Star (an object that grants immense power) in order to take over the world. Mario, a newcomer to the kingdom, joins forces with Princess Peach to stop him. The film incorporates elements from the video game’s equally successful counterpart, Mario Kart, as it includes a riveting race on Rainbow Road.  

“I like the animated style they went with, and I think the movie had a killer soundtrack. It is enjoyable for kids and teens alike, and my brother and I went together and both of us had a blast. Jack Black carried the movie, though,” Ava Banko, senior, said. 

The movie has become a huge success since its release. It garnered over $700 million in ticket sales worldwide and is currently 2023’s highest grossing film, as it surpassed “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.” According to Rotten Tomatoes, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” received a 96 percent audience score, indicating wide accomplishment. It has become the most popular movie across the globe on IMDb, a famous movie database, due to critics’ extensive praise.  

“This lively computer-animated take on the video game just opened, and it is already the biggest box-office smash of 2023. Despite lapses into dull and disposable, it is also godsend for parents seeking family entertainment for the 5-year-old in all of us,” Peter Travers, ABC News Critic, said. 

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” will be in theaters for the next several weeks and is expected to join Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services within the coming months.  One can soak up the nostalgia and family fun only in theaters today.