Jack Black as Bowser is the best thing about The Super Mario Bros. Movie

The Super Mario Bros. Movie debuted over the weekend.

Despite receiving mixed reviews, I went to go see The Super Mario Bros. Movie over the weekend. To my pleasant surprise, it was actually pretty good. No, it’s not going to win any awards at next year’s Oscars, but the film does what it set out to do: entertain long-time fans.

Nintendo teamed up with Universal and Illumination, the studio behind the smash-hit Minions movies. So it should come as no surprise that The Super Mario Bros. Movie proved a success. In fact, it just had the top-grossing opening weekend for an animated film of all time. Yeah, it beat Disney and Pixar!

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The Super Mario Bros. Movie hits all of the nostalgia buttons without feeling like it was pandering to the audience. There are clever, subtle references to both past Mario games and classic Nintendo franchises. For instance, Mario and Luigi walk past the Punch-Out Pizza restaurant early in the movie. We also learn that Pauline was just re-elected as mayor of New York City.

Plus, there is a good mix of visual references to Nintendo’s past – particularly to its arcade and NES roots but also the Super Mario 64 design of Princess Peach’s castle. And, of course, there are tons of remastered and remixed classic tunes from the retro Mario games.

However, Jack Black as Bowser was probably my favorite part of the whole movie. His acting role felt the most passionate of all of the characters, and his quixotic love interest with Peach added some solid comedic moments to the light-hearted film. Chris Pratt was not half bad either, or at least he was not nearly as bad as feared. To be honest, I did not even notice his voice. As a fan of If It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I also enjoyed Charlie Day as Luigi.

All told fans can probably expect a sequel in a couple of years, given the financial success. I will be looking forward to it.

What do you think of Jack Black as Bowser? Let us know!