It’s a me! Mario!
BQB here with a review.
It’s no easy task to make a movie based on 40 year old IP that will please both the middle aged adults who loved the brand as kids as well as today’s kids who have completely different childhoods than their parents, but darned if the geniuses at Nintendo and Illumination didn’t come together to find a way in one heck of a picture.
Truth be told, Mario’s adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom have been low hanging fruit, just dying to be turned into a good movie for decades, but Hollywood execs could never figure it out. There was a live action abomination in the 90s starring the late greats Dennis Hopper and Bob Hoskins as well as still alive John Leguizamo, but it had little to do with the subject matter.
That’s where I take my hat off to the producers here. Sometimes you have source material that is timeless and if you stick with it, albeit it with a few modern upgrades, it will stand the test of time for today’s kids as well as tomorrow’s kids.
The plot? Mario and Luigi (Chris Pratt and Charlie Day) live in a cramped Brooklyn apartment with their extended family. They just left a plumbing company run by frenemy Spike (Sebastian Manisculco) to start their own business, subjecting them to mockery from a fam that doesn’t believe in them.
Whilst on a job, the bros get sucked down a pipe into the Mushroom Kingdom and are separated. From there, it’s up to Mario to team up with Princess Peach (Anya Taylor Joy) and Toad (Keegan Michael Key) to rescue Luigi from Bowser, who does a few vocal performances in this one because he’s voiced by Jack Black. Oh and of course, they’ll need to convince Donkey Kong (Seth Rogen) to lend his furry muscles to the rescue mission.
That’s pretty much it. The film does not even try to explain anything about how the world works, why there are pipes that lead from earth to the Mushroom Kingdom, why there are all these boxes that give you special powers and so on. Many video game movies fail when they get bogged down in long explanations of why nonsensical things exist when ultimately the answer is because they’re fun when you see them in video game form.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Illumination is really kicking Disney’s butt as of late.