The best way to see the new Nintendo family movie THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE is with your kids or in my case, grand kids in tow.
They were overwhelmed seeing it in Dolby Cinema 3D in all the right ways.
Illumination gets a lot of things right bringing a new version of the game to the big screen, including at least two memorable sequences that recreate the games "life size" for viewers.
Chris Pratt and Charlie Day are enjoyable as Mario & Luigi. An opening sequence introducing them as not-so-great plumbers drags a bit, but the movie really gets rolling once they are sucked down those magic drainpipes to several different worlds.
The visuals are very good, with references to the games everywhere you look. The boys both pointed to stuff on the screen countless times, calling out all the characters or locations they know so well the moment they'd pop up.
Anya Taylor-Joy (The Menu) is a fine Princess Peach and the test she gives Mario to join her on her quest is the first time the movie really lived up to its potential for me, putting Mario (and us wearing those 3D glasses) the chance to fly though the game's first level in the first person.
Jack Black (King Kong, Jumanji) is full tilt as Bowser. This is manic Black in his quest to meet, conquer and marry Princess Peach. At one point, he dons an Elton John style costume and sits at the piano singing/belting/screaming his love for "Peaches. Peaches. PEACHES!!!" and when the song ended, my grandson's cousin said out loud "Oh-Oh, I think we need a refund." It was one of the biggest laughs of the movie for me and the other adults sitting around us. Important to note that as soon as we got in my car for the ride home, the boys put that soundtrack on in my car and sung the 'Peaches, Peaches, Peaches!" song all the way home.....and last night...and this morning.....
Parents will find plenty to enjoy, including actors/comedians like Sebastian Maniscalco, Keegan-Michael Key and Fred Armisen voicing key characters.
Mario's face-off against Donkey Kong (Seth Rogan and his unmistakable laugh) in a massive arena serves up a lot of barrel throwing, jumping and battling fun. The movies best sequence features a full scale Mario Kart race as our heroes try to escape Bowser and his army.
Tracking for nearly $190 million at the box office over its opening Easter weekend, THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE looks like a massive hit. Based on all the families at our sold out Friday afternoon screening, this one could have legs.
I would give it a B- but when I asked the boys this morning to grade it, they immediately jumped up. My grandson said "It gets an A! It was excellent!" and his cousin said "A+++++! No, wait, a Z, or whatever is a lot better than an A+++! It was PERFECT!!"
I stand corrected. Illumination is going to love the box office, this one's going to be a monster.
(My grandson said we had to "stay through the credits because there is a post-credits scene". He's 9. LOL, Marvel has trained him well. There is a short scene after all the credits teasing a sequel and they went bananas.)