Everyone at Polygon who saw The movie Super Mario Bros. came away with the same feeling – it has its ups and downs, but Jack Black as Bowser steals the show entirely. Whether the character sings an impromptu, heartfelt piano ballad to Princess Peach or viciously threatens Luigi’s mustache, Black throws himself into the role with a wacky, over-the-top passion that’s all too lacking in the rest of the film.
That’s true for all the ways Black promoted the film, from navigating a ridiculous level of CG platforming on Instagram to appearing in Bowser’s cosplay at the film’s Los Angeles premiere. He’s been doing ridiculous, over-the-top stunts to promote this movie for months now, and the best part is that he seems to be genuinely having fun with it.
There are bound to be people who don’t appreciate this approach, or the specter of a grown man mugging for the camera and rolling on the floor in a bright green suit, shouting the lyrics to his anthem “Peaches” at a portrait of cartoon of the princess herself. It is unworthy. It’s commercial. It’s very, very silly.
But that’s a big part of why it’s so much fun to watch. His commitment to the bit so clearly crosses the line from “contractual obligation to promote the studio” to “adult in play”. His utterly unabashed energy is an open invitation for seriously serious adults to feel like kids again, to embrace that kind of egoless goof around whatever still sparks joy in their lives. This characterizes pretty much all of his social media appearances these days, not just Super Mario Bros movie.-those related. And it’s refreshing and kind of adorable.
So if you’re willing to risk spending the next few days with Bowser’s song “Peaches” stuck in your head, dive into Black’s latest celebration of silliness, as he sings the song while wearing another costume. respectful of Bowser, banging on a peach-colored piano in a mock-up of a giant mushroom-shaped room, and finally throwing himself on the floor to really shout it all out. May we all one day have the chance to love something like Jack Black loves to thrill.