“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” Captivates Viewers



“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” will be the best videogame movie for the foreseeable future.

Video game movies have been notoriously terrible, but this may be the movie that breaks the mold. When watching “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” it is important to understand what the target audience is. The Mario franchise spans many generations and will be felt in different ways depending on if you grew up with the franchise and when. The movie is rated as PG and with that comes limitations and clues that the targeted audience is children.

No matter when one’s connection to the franchise was, there are references that everyone can catch, including the first appearance that Mario ever made onto a screen from the laughably bad and nostalgic 1989 “Super Mario Brothers Super Show.” This movie can give enjoyment to fans of old and new.

Something that can be said with confidence is that this movie is the best video game movie to date and does right by the source material. Viewers who have little to no personal experience or connection to the mario franchise may find this movie boring and formulaic. And in that statement, there is some validity. However, they are not the target audience. To yearn for a movie that can entertain both kids and adults, no matter their connection to the franchise, holds what is already a risky movie to make to an unfair standard. For fans of the series, seeing the original voice actor make an appearance just for posterity’s sake gives the movie a lot of charm that makes up for whatever plot shortcomings there may be.

It is clear to see in the movie’s advertising is that it wants fans of new and old to come watch the film. However, with trying to maintain broad appeal there is one thing that stood in their way, Nintendo. With Nintendo being widely known for protecting their intellectual properties with religious scrutiny would make many think that this movie would be safe and bland as to not rock the boat that is their most prized brand. This is very evident in the movie by how the pacing of the movie was. After the first 20 minutes of the movie, many viewers could find themselves lost or almost checked out of the movie just purely based off of pacing.

What might shock viewers of the movie is how much of a success the movie was. According to an article from The Hollywood Reporter, “The Super Mario Bros Movie” made 678 million dollars globally. This number is staggering when considering the general reception of video game movies being as close to dumping money in an open flame. “The Super Mario Bros Movie” being the best grossing movie of 2023 gave Hollywood whiplash.

Critically, the movie had received many scaithing reviews. With Rotten Tomatoes giving the movie a 58% critic score and the audience score being 96% shows a large difference in the opinion of the film. When watching the movie in theaters for the first time, when the movie finished I noticed a kid dressed in a mario costume was jumping up and down with excitement out of the theater. It looked as if his entire childhood was just completed. Even if the movie is hated by every pedantic critic in the movie industry, as long as there are people who enjoy the movie,it was a success.

“The Super Mario Bros Movie” is the perfect Mario movie. There is little that can be compared to it. However, with a sequel teased at the post credit scene, I suspect that there will be an expectation to continue making more and more Mario movies.

“The Super Mario Bros Movie” gives me a lot of hope for the future of video game movies because it proves to Hollywood that video games can be adaptable to movie format and done in a profitable way. It is hard to avoid that this movie does require a connection to the Mario franchise and on its own it is not very strong without nostalgic connection. However, it set a precedent for what could be the beginning of a Hollywood collaboration with the video game industry.