Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Keegan-Michael Key

QuickView: The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)

“Destiny is calling.”


Where Sega’s Sonic adaptations went live action, The Super Mario Bros. Movie remains entirely animated, perhaps an unsurprising decision given the questionable 1993 adaptation starring Bob Hoskins. Taking as little creative liberty as possible with the property, Illumination have created as blandly safe a version of the Mushroom Kingdom as one could imagine, further diluted by no less than four credited directors. Although the vibrant animation is of perfectly serviceable quality (generally on par with high end videogame cutscenes), it rarely feels like we are experiencing unseen detail in these faithfully recreated characters. The backlash to Chris Pratt’s casting proves unwarranted — it is just one of many safe choices the filmmakers made (including ditching the iconic Italian accents in favour of standard American) — and although the main cast consists of high profile actors rather than professional voice actors, only Jack Black’s rock anthem-singing, incel Bowser is particularly recognisable (which also adds the most fresh characterisation). Anya Taylor-Joy’s Princess Peach is thankfully modelled on the capable Super Marios Bros. 2 Peach rather than a damsel in distress, though she is the film’s only notable female presence. The primary concession to adult viewers is the soundtrack, with unexpected choices like the Beastie Boys and a reference to Kill Bill, but the story is unlikely to engage beyond the nostalgia value of the IP (and a deeply cynical Lumalee). Younger children will likely be sufficiently entertained but older children, who will not even benefit from nostalgia, are likely to lose interest. It is understandable that Nintendo might be risk-averse with Mario’s first cinematic outting since having their fingers burned 30 years ago, but but avoiding “bad” has left The Super Mario Bros. Movie stranded in mediocrity.


QuickView: Keanu (2016)

Keanu quad poster

“You want to never get pulled over again, you drive an inconspicuous family vehicle.”

Clarence Goobril

Key & Peele deservedly leap to the big screen but lack the feline grace to land on their feet in this amusing but overstretched comedy. The premise — two regular guys inadvertently stumbling into gang warfare whilst attempting to recover a very cute kitten — is ridiculous and largely irrelevant. Peele co-wrote the script and his eye for divergent black culture is clear, particularly in a scene describing George Michael to black youths as a hood icon. However, after the third time we return to the same joke, one is left wondering whether Key & Peele’s comedic talents are best served by short-form absurdity without the distraction of an overarching plot.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

Up ↑