The “Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which debuted on Wednesday with Chris Pratt voicing the title character from the venerable Nintendo video game series, is finally in theaters after much anticipation and backlash.
Since Pratt’s casting was revealed in September 2021, there has been some online dissension, mostly from the group of gamer purists who believed actor Charles Martinet, who has been Mario’s official voice in the games for years, should have received the distinction. Others insisted that an Italian should actually fill the position of the Italian electrician.
In the end, Pratt’s performance as the protagonist is among the least notable aspects of the new film. however, observers might initially be misled to believe otherwise.
Right at the beginning of the animated movie, Pratt’s Mario and his brother Luigi (voiced by Charlie Day) watch a TV commercial they made for their Brooklyn, New York, plumbing company. Their Italian accents in the corny commercial are extremely heavy-handed, to put it mildly.
However, for the remainder of the film, Pratt and Day return to their initially bland, somewhat macro Italo-Brooklyn dialect, with Mario even musing, “Was the accent too much?” while discussing the advertisement’s merits.
However, the actors portraying the super brothers’ mothers, uncles, and aunts—Rino Romano, John DiMaggio, and Jessica DiCicco—remain firmly Italian. At least Martinet receives the coveted voice part of Mario and Luigi’s father.
The remainder of the movie is a fairly simple adventure story, but regrettably forgoes many chances to make direct allusions to the beloved and venerable “Super Mario” video game series in favor of gleaming new world-building.
While there are many Easter eggs and clever meta moments, such as when Mario is seen playing a video game himself, Nintendo aficionados and casual fans alike may find themselves wondering, “Is it really a-you, Marrrio?”