Will Donahue ‘24
Professional Opinion Haver
Just last night, Hollywood’s best and brightest gathered for the premiere of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” in Worcester. (Yes, Worcester. LA isn’t the center of the world, you know.) For those who were wondering: yes, I was there. Jack Black needed a plus one, I happened to be free… one thing led to another and I ended up with exclusive tickets. I’ve now decided to write a comprehensive review of my experience for the benefit of those who weren’t blessed enough to attend. And before you ask: I know the “Mario” review embargo hasn’t been lifted yet. But my uncle works at Nintendo and he said I could write this early. Anyway, let’s get into it.
To put it mildly: “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” saved my life. It cleared my skin. It stopped global warming and brought peace to the Middle East. The folks over at Illumination and Nintendo deserve all the accolades in the world for crafting such a sublime magnum opus. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen a cinematic achievement of this caliber since “The Godfather.” Actually, scratch that – “Mario” blows “The Midfather” out of the water. If Francis Ford Coppola were alive to see it, I’d tell him to take notes. But that’s just a general impression – let’s get into the specifics. This means SPOILERS, people. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Okay, so first of all, let’s address the elephant in the room: Chris Pratt’s Mario. I am pleased to report that Chris Pratt is Mario. I had my doubts at first, but he put on one of the best Mario performances of the year so far. I would even go so far as to say it was one of the performances I’ve ever seen. Of course, the rest of the cast brought their A-games as well – particularly Charlie Day. I never imagined an actor could so eloquently capture the power, emotion, and sheer sex appeal of Luigi. And I would be remiss without a shoutout to my friend Jack Black, whose spine-tingling portrayal of Bowser will haunt your nightmares for years to come.
It goes without saying that the story was also superb. Well, for the most part. The Mario/Peach divorce court subplot was a bit lengthy, and Yoshi’s death by meteoric impact felt a little too on-the-nose. But enough nitpicking – I was really happy to see Isabelle from “Animal Crossing” get her very own post-credits scene! Sure, some may think her inclusion is “cheesy” or “unnecessary” – but I think those people lack basic media literacy. Illumination is clearly setting up the next entry in the Nintendo Cinematic Universe (NCU), and they need to introduce all of their Phase One fighters before “The Super Smash Bros. Movie” in 2029.
I know what you’re thinking: it can’t be that good, can it? To that I say: you’d be surprised. The film received a forty-one minute standing ovation after the credits rolled, and Martin Scorsese (who sat next to me at the premiere – per his request) actually cried tears of joy. The whole rest of the night, he kept saying “this is why cinema exists” and “my whole career has been a waste.” So now you know I’m not crazy when I tell you to go see “Mario” if it’s the last thing you ever do. It hits theaters nationwide on April 5. Trust me, this film will change your life.
TL;DR – go see “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” on April 5. It’s OBJECTIVELY a MASTERCLASS in filmmaking.
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