When there's a crappy joke every two minutes, many badly out of place licensed songs, no character work and a nonsensical plot that makes its key macguffin inexplicably pointless, I'd say those can be some pretty major issues. The DK stuff is nitpicking, sure, but everything else is definitely in the realm of "the movie is worse because of this".
I guess there's no point in arguing, anyway. There is no valid criticism one can have of this movie, because the counter-argument is always "well I enjoyed it, so you're wrong". It's gone way past the point where you can look at it objectively.
Well excuse me for not having outlandishly high standards. For the record, I DID look at it objectively. It's not perfect, but it's not just another kids movie like you immediately wrote it off as.
Admittedly with it being so soon after Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, my standards are indeed pretty high.
And coming from that, a "children's" movie that treats its audience in a very mature way, this felt like being thrown right back into the world of "animation is for kids". Sorry, but it definitely is that. The initial joke with the penguins throwing snowballs at Bowser. The multiple slow-motion mamma mias. The whole movie was filled with these goofy moments I might've laughed at if I was 6, and had nothing in the way of deep themes or interesting characters. Every aspect of the story was extremely basic and bare-bones. And sure, I wasn't expecting incredible storytelling from the freaking Mario movie, but god they really put zero effort into it. And let's be fair here... I wasn't expecting incredible storytelling from Puss in Boots either, but I got it anyway.
Anyways. I was never a big fan of Mario, so I was never gonna care much for all the fan service they threw in there. The only thing that could get me out of that theater feeling good about the movie would be... well, actually being a good movie, outside of the winks and nods to the source material. But the storytelling was exactly as barren as it was in the games, so of course I wouldn't like it. That's the main reason why I never cared much for the games to begin with.
So my overall feeling right now is, this movie doesn't deserve to be raking in the cash like it is, but, I guess if that means the Nintendo franchises I actually like can get movies (hopefully with the good stories they deserve), then I'll take it.