The Dark Herald Recommends: The Super Mario Brothers Movie

The Dark Herald Recommends: The Super Mario Brothers Movie

Today gaming journalists display their abject ignorance and complete irrelevance by declaring this game should be embraced by gamers because its politics are mega-good think or that game should be rejected and reviled because the Hivemind has declared it so.  The advice gets ignored either way by gamers.

Seven years ago, gaming journos displayed their utter cluelessness and general disinterest in their own chosen field of ‘expertise’ by declaiming in lockstep unison that Nintendo was dead and it was only a matter of time before it was bought up or sold off.

GamerGaters took this as further proof of gaming journalists’ uniform idiocy. Anybody who has the slightest clue about games and gaming is absolutely certain of the fact that Nintendo knows how to take care of its franchises.  American executives who listen to these retarded journalists routinely kill the goose that lays golden eggs.

Japanese executives do not listen to them.  

Use dick-girl to sell beer to rednecks?
How the fuck did we lose?

I, for example, had no intention of buying the Nintendo Switch when it came out.  My family’s Wii U had been gathering dust for years, and when I removed it to install the new TV, I didn’t bother to hook it back up.  Into the attic it went, Nintendo was done in my household.  The new Switch console wasn’t backward compatible which is why consoles suck and PC users are the master race of gaming.

Yeah. Guess what I finally bought for Christmas this year?

You don’t have to because you did the same thing?  

Nintendo as a failed company wasn’t just laughably stupid, it was Frosk stupid. Nintendo was founded in 1889 and survived WWII.  And like I said, they know how to take care of their franchises.  However, a keiretsu corporation (new term for zaibatsu) bought into Nintendo recently and pressured the company to branch out into other media.  Good idea or bad, it had to be done. So, Nintendo went to Hollywood (a questionable choice) and as naturally as a pig wallows in its own shit, Hollywood tried to wreck the franchise.

However, it was not Nintendo’s first trip to Hollywood.

Consequently, they weren’t willing to sign the kind of contract they did before because Japanese companies have very long memories. Nintendo retained control and approval on EVERYTHING.  The first script they were proudly presented with was everything you’d expect from current-year Hollywood.  

Yeah. Princess Peach was a godawful feminist Mary Sue who was only being held back by the mushroom kingdom’s disbelief in her and Mario was a bumbling, Man-sal in distress. Luigi was providing “representation” some way or another. Apparently, they didn’t even have Donkey Kong in it, and it was blatantly obvious that whoever wrote that first draft had never actually played the game.  At all. Ever.

Grace Randolph is one of the most grating people on earth.  Her screeching voice, too-wide eyes, and fake blonde hair are all so intolerable that on the rare occasions that I have to watch her, I turn off the sound and turn on the close captioning.  (Good lord, I’m grateful to YouTube for something).  I know my Darklings, you feel I suffer enough but Grace Randolph is very useful for one thing, her attitudes are a perfect reflection of Hollywood’s.  If you want to know what The Club thinks, just ask Grace Randolph she’ll be happy to tell you in her braying donkey voice.  And clearly, she officially hates The Super Mario Brothers movie and it’s also obvious that she didn’t actually see it, she used someone else’s talking points.

Word got out around Tinsel Town that those filthy overachieving Japanese had spiked a Woke masterpiece of a script and demanded traditional family entertainment that wouldn’t sink their brand.  They must pay for this new Pearl Harbor.  

That worked as well for film critics this year as it did for gaming critics.  Despite review bombing and uniform talking points about how no one who didn’t play the games could understand what was going on, the movie is a boffo box office blockbuster.*  Apparently, these failed film school and drama club grads are completely unaware that EVERYONE has played Mario Brothers games. As of this writing, the take is $377 million against a budget of $100 hundred million. Even with a one-to-one marketing budget, Universal is already in the black and spanking Mickey the Great and Terrible.

That is the part that really hurts Hollywood.  Disney is as completely Woke as it gets and now has only the second-biggest opening of all time for an animated movie. Universal has the crown.

Darklings: Cool. Is the movie any good?

The Dark Herald: Yes. 

Although, you may want more of a review than that.

Donkey Kong first hit the arcades or to be more exact pizza joints and bars in 1981, (arcades still were still mostly pinball palaces but that was changing fast). That was (*groan*) 42 years ago, Generation X had only just stopped being born and the Millennials hadn’t really started yet. That’s what I found hilarious about Grace Randolph’s claiming that you had to be familiar with the game to get anything out of the movie, I think it goes to show just how bubbled film people are if they don’t know anything about Mario’s World.  Seriously, what is there know?

Mario was damn near an ethnic slur by the time he was created, he probably would have been except New Jersey arcade owners paid their protection money on time and the New York Mafia had the final say in what Italians found offensive or not. Regardless, Mario was a 1940s stereotype of a plumber, his job was to rescue Princess Peach (Okay, Pauline you nerd) from King Donkey Kong, (Nintendo couldn’t clear the rights). It was a platformer and Mario was called Jumpman but it was the first Arcade game with an actual narrative which is why Super Mario Brothers is a movie and Missile Command is not.

The Nintendo Mario games have entertained three generations of gamers, four if you count Boomers which I don’t.

The movie starts with Bowser…

No Boomer jokes!
I don’t care if Gen-X gets the reference!

Stealing the Super Star powerup from the Penguins.**  As everyone under the age of 60 (except Grace) knows the Super Star is the most powerful powerup in the game.  The MacGuffin has been introduced so the credits are run.  Cut to Brooklyn and we are watching a commercial for Super Mario Brothers plumbing, they use the cheesy Italian accents here but really nowhere else.  The commercial ends and we get to know the brothers.  They both have their B-story arcs.  Mario wants his Dad’s respect and Luigi wants to be more like his big brother.  We get a slice of their lives that handled introducing them and their problems in nice quick order very much in keeping with the Save the Cat story model.

Mario and Luigi head into the sewers for MacGuffin chasing reasons that children will love and adults will be fine with if they aren’t professional film critics or total humbugs. Naturally one of the pipes sucks them into Mario World (not that it’s called that).  Luigi gets separated and sent to Bowser’s Lava Kingdom.  Mario ends up in the Mushroom Kingdom and needs to find his brother one of the locals informs him they have to go ask Princess Peach for help because “she can do anything.”

You can find a few hints of the original girl-boss Peach in the finished movie but truth be said, I can tolerate action girl Peach on the grounds that she’s been a playable character for a long, long time now. 

Eldest Dark Spawn always picks her.  So fine, the girls get a heroine. I suppose she had to grow a little bit.

Peach has her own issue with Bowser, he has a total Gamma-crush on her and wants her to marry him.  Jack Black either bombs or delivers and he has nothing in between.  Here, he kills it as Bowser.  He can manage both comically funny and threatening.

Well, Princess Peach has a major military problem. She doesn’t have one.  The mushroom people are mostly just adorable.  So, she needs an alliance with the Kongs.  



Skipping ahead she gets one.  Donkey Kong and Mario are clearly antagonists who will be friends.  It was done cleverly; DK’s problem is that his Dad thinks he’s a joke just like Mario’s Dad does about him.  It gives them something to build on.

This next part hurts to say…


There, I said it, moving on. Chris Pratt does fine work as Mario and was an excellent choice to headline a family-friendly picture. Which is another reason the critics covered themselves in irrelevance sauce over this one.  The big problem so far as they were concerned and why the review embargo went right up to the release date was that there was no DIE in it.  Luigi wasn’t questioning if he wanted to be a boy, Peach was white, and there was no equality of result without hard work to get it.

The climax was well-structured and narratively satisfying.  And I won’t tell you a thing about it.

Frankly, well-structured and narratively satisfying describes the whole movie.  It is very much a family-friendly motion picture that leans heavily toward younger filmgoers.  There is nothing inappropriate for them and I was looking.  Very wee ones might get a little scared by Bowser. Your call as parents. 

Super Mario Brothers is a movie that delivers on what it promises the intended audience and won’t leave you with awkward conversations about “how two mommies make a baby?”

The Dark Herald Recommends with Highest Enthusiasm (5/5)

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*Bleech! I just spoke in Hollywood.

** Grace: I didn’t even know what the penguins were caulled.  

TDH: They’re called the Penguins, Grace.  

UPDATE: Like I said, Jack Black killed it.

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