Curiously, since he began to take over the delirious ‘Super Mario Bros’ from 1993, adapting video games to a passive narrative medium, be it film or television, became little more than a risky activity marked by a succession of creative bumps. A dynamic that, luckily, began to change over the years until it led to jewels like the recent ‘The Last of Us’ on HBO.
One of the most challenging challenges faced when creating this type of production is hidden in the delicate balance that should existr between fan service intended to delight fans of the original material, the added that expand their universe and enrich their characters and, ultimately, a quality narrative that transcends that of their playable counterparts.
The case of ‘Super Mario Bros: The Movie’ is a clear example of the difficulty involved in finding this balance and transferring a franchise of this magnitude to the big screen; offering a kind of dream come true for the parishioners of the mustachioed plumber full of winks, details and devotion, but weighed down by a few shaky enough narrative foundations enough to bury his commendable efforts to amuse without complexes.
lack of balance
You have to recognize that Few counterpart titles have managed to capture the essence of their reference material as well as ‘Super Mario Bros: The Movie’.. This achievement begins with a dazzling production design and technical bill that draws on the past and present of Shigeru Miyamoto’s work to offer an animated show only within the reach of studios like Illumination Entertainment.
Thus, the directorial duo of Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic manage to transport to the stalls a Mushroom Kingdom more alive and colorful than ever; all this while evoking the platform spirit of the video game in passages that seem to be taken directly from a gameplay —2.5D scenes are simply magnificent.
To this we must add the one that, fortunately or unfortunately, ends up becoming the leitmotiv and, in turn, the great claim of the function: a tsunami of easter-eggs and references not only to the world of Mario, but to Nintendo in general, which ends up devouring the story and that, in my case, it was tremendously indigestible despite my long-standing sympathy for the license.
It would have been fantastic if, underpinning this ode to the Japanese company, there was a story that was no longer interesting or deep, but minimally worked on. Instead, we find a plot as skeletal as a Dry Bones, a kindergarten sense of humor —let’s remember that this film adapts a franchise with 35 years behind it and with a very wide spectrum of potential audience— and zero character development. Something especially surprising if we take into account that Horvath and Jelenic are responsible for the magnificent ‘Teen Titans Go!’ cathodic
Of course, at this point, many could refute my opinion with a helpful “what did you expect”, to which I can answer, plain and simple, with “a movie”. Because, at the last minute, ‘Super Mario Bros: The Movie’ It is still a kind of stretched kinematics, much more hollow than desirable and sadly disappointing overall.
But this It does not mean that its extremely tight 90 minutes do not fulfill their mission of entertaining between incessant successions of gags, montage sequences that try to provide some glue between disconnected scenes —including a workout to the rhythm of ‘I Need a Hero’ as the height of creative laziness— and an original voice cast in its sauce —tremendous Jack Black–
It simply means that all of us who want a feature film that lives up to the legacy of Mario, Luigi and company, we will have to keep waiting. Hopefully, it won’t be another 30 years.
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