IT'S time to power up, push your kart into sixth gear, and brace for total Mushroom Kingdom domination. Yes, it’s a Mario time!

King of the Nintendo empire for a near half century, it was 1981’s Donkey Kong that finally leant Mario his video game debut. Two years passed before the pudgy Italian plumber gained a brother - Luigi - and it took a further two after that for the pair become ‘the Super Mario Bros.’

This week - from the studio behind Despicable Me, the Minions, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s take on the Grinch - The Super Mario Bros. Movie brings their story to the big screen. If the marketing campaign is anything to go by, ‘big’ is exactly where Illumination see this one going.

Just one month before his Guardians of the Galaxy swan song, Chris Pratt voices Mario. While many questioned the casting early on, Pratt’s everyman energy is a hit here. His pairing with Charlie Day’s Luigi makes for a pleasing chemistry and proves a playful balance to the more stoic heroism of Anya Taylor-Joy. She plays Princess Peach.

Away from this central trio, most of your favourites feature. Certainly, with Bowser, Toad, Kong and a whole legion of Koopers, the film boasts a veritable role call of Nintendo nostalgia. Only a handful are held back, likely with one eye on a franchised future. You’ll want to stay for the credits.

In the here and now, Teen Titans Go! creators Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic direct a zany script from Matthew Fogel, with humour and gung ho top of the agenda. The pace is peppy and the visuals pop.

The plot is thus. A Jack Black voiced Bowser seeks total world domination. He sweeps through the Penguin Kingdom with little more effort than a snarl of smoke and only the Mushroom Kingdom stands unconquered as the film gets going.

Princess Peach is ready for the fight but it’s capturing Luigi that may prove to be Bowser’s biggest mistake. There’s nothing a Brooklyn based plumber won’t do to protect his family.

For more seasoned Mario fans, the plot’s simplicity is a boon, allowing Horvath and Jelenic space to pack their film with nods to all corners of the Mario galaxy. For the less well versed, The Super Mario Bros. Movie need only deliver a good time. It’s mission accomplished. Wahoo!