Today The Super Mario Bros Movie finally arrives in theaters worldwide. One of the most anticipated video game adaptations to the big screen, and just when we expected it to be one of the best...well it’s complicated. At least if we stick to the criticism it has received from the specialized film and entertainment press, which has not been exactly benevolent towards it and it has a rather mediocre score on Rotten Tomatoes. But fans are absolutely loving it.
If you go into the popular movie scoring site, you’ll find that The Super Mario Bros Movie is currently sitting at a score of 54% on the Tomatometer with 106 reviews (meaning the average of all of those scores), which is less than ideal. The audience score, however, is currently 98%.
Sega Does What Ninten-did
“‘It’s a brand extension with only vacuous and insincere things to say, designed to set children in search of dopamine-hit recognition,” says one. “Totally inaccessible for non-fans of this Super Mario game from Nintendo,” says another. Not even its protagonist is spared: “The internet was right. Chris Pratt is all wrong as the title character in The Super Mario Bros. Movie”, they say... With such a star-studded cast, it’s surprising that so many critics are having issues with the film, with Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black or Seth Rogen, in addition to Pratt himself.
In this sense, the negative comparisons are similar to what his legendary rival, Sonic the Hedgehog, received at first with both of its movies. Sega’s blue hedgehog, without having exactly starred in great movie masterpieces, boasts higher scores thanThe Super Mario Bros Movie. The first Sonic movie has a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes with more than 250 reviews, a score that, while not something tremendous, is higher than the current one starring the mustachioed plumber. It is even higher in the case of Sonic: The Movie 2, with a passable 69%.
What’s clear, however, is that audiences are having no doubts about how much they’re enjoying the movie. Standing at a healthy 98% as of this moment, it seems like the cavalcade of easter eggs and references to the plumbers’ games are more than enough for fans to enjoy the spectacle. “Loved the details and throwbacks on music and old school games”, said one. “This movie was Amazing! Seriously hit me right in the childhood,” admitting to the nostalgia factor that was bound to hit right.
It can best be summed up by another fan review, which says: “Fast-paced, fun, colorful and cute! There’s not a whole lot of substance or plot, but I don’t think there needs to be. It made me laugh, it made me happy, it entertained me, and maybe that’s more than enough for a video game movie.”
Just as it happened with the Sonic the Hedgehog movies, audiences gave the final word on the movie’s success. It seems like there’s no need to make artful and high-brow adaptations of games since sometimes nostalgia and fan service are all the fans are actually looking for. In the end, it all depends on who’s watching it, and whether or not they enjoy it.