Written by Ben Rosenthal
In 1993 a movie came out. Not such a big deadly, I mean a lot of movies come out in a year. That is true, however once in a while, a movie comes out and changed the game. A movie with such mind-blowing special effect, fantastic acting and brilliant plot and characterisation, all of humanity “awwwww’s” at its awe. Super Mario Bros is not one of these movies.
Based on the greatest games of all time, the live action film adaptation has Bob Hoskins portraying Mario Mario, with John Leguizamo playing his moustache-less brother Luigi and the late, great Dennis Hopper portraying the reptilian villain King Kooper. As for plot – Daisy is kidnapped by Iggy and Spike (Kooper’s “cousins” in this movie), and taken to the parallel world where dinosaurs survived the meteor impact. There they evolved into human-like individuals – but they eat rare meat for some reason. So, Daisy is kidnapped, finds out she is the princess of this realm and that she hold a piece of the original meteor that when placed back with the original meteor will merge the dimensions enabling Koopa to rule both. Yeahbuhwha? But I digress, here are the Good, the Bad and the WTF of Super Mario Bros: The Movie.
The Good Well, the movie starts off with the original Mario Bros theme. Um……. I kid, there are some glimmers of good in this junk heap of a film. For starters, Bob Hoskins does a great job of portraying Mario. He looks the part, he’s hungry a lot and has a moustache. Dennis Hopper is also great. Sure, he is a 2 dimensional villain, but his charisma makes him worth watching alone. There are a couple of great little call backs in the script, for example the whole Koopa-Pizza running gag throughout the third act. A Bomb-bomb plays a semi-important role in the storyline, as does a mushroom (kinda) and I did see a Bullet Bill. However, any kind of Mario Bros fan probably wouldn’t get to see these little nods, as I doubt they would make it through the first 20 minutes of the film.
The Bad Where do I start? The horrible acting? The gritty, cyber punk setting for the Mushroom Kingdom? It’s all pretty bad, including the ‘Thwomp’ boots. Seriously, they have no part in the movie other than for the film makers to say “look, Mario jumps high just like in the game”. Super scopes as portable de-evolution guns? Uh huh, way to make your enemies look threatening. Speaking of which – the Goombas. They aren’t scary, just stupid (oh, and to the guy who played Toad – acting shouldn’t be painful to watch).
The WTF The plot. Seriously, it is filled with more holes than Brittney Spear’s pants. When Kooper is defeated, why is the King of the Mushroom (Daisy’s father who was de-evolved via Kooper’s machine to be fungus) suddenly return to his humanoid state? Wasn’t he de-evolved via machinery? Why would he turn back if there was no magic, nor anything to link his transformation to King Kooper? On a side note, the Fungus-King is disgusting (which Daisy seems to be fine with). At the beginning of the movie, why do nuns readily accept a child who is born from an egg? Doesn’t that kind of go against what they believe in? How are they not freaking out, and casting this child out as the Anti-Christ. The acting. How does John Leguizamo get work? He stoic, cardboard acting makes me just want to punch him in the jugular. He is unappealing, uninteresting and unreliable. The chemistry between him and Daisy is not only non-existent, it’s awkward and just horrible to watch. Daisy is not that much better – she has the same expression on her face throughout the movie. To my knowledge, by raising your eyebrow in every scene is not an adequate way to convey fear, anger, confusion and lust. The ending? I feel embarrased for them, I really do. If you don’t remember it, I won’t refresh the memories. Perhaps the biggest abomination of this film is not the horrible set nor the wooden acting. The one thing that made me not enjoy this movie like the 8 year old in me demands is simply this – WHY IS MARIO PLAYING SECOND STRING TO LUIGI? I mean Luigi? He’s a freaking loser man. Mario has always, ALWAYS, been the cool, courageous of the two with Luigi being the social retard that does nothing but piss Mario, and the gamers, off. Why did they give this wimp of a character the title role? OOOOOOH – John Lequizamo played him. That’s why he didn’t have him wear a moustache, so he could set all the little girl’s hearts a flutter and reap some extra box office cash. Well Nintendo, I hate to say they only thing you reaped was my childhood.
Aside – I do remember a NES game which came out in conjunction with this film. Man, I wish I could play that – anyone got it?
Ben Rosenthal is a nerd with not enough time on his hands. You can read more of his inane banter at Post-Humour Comedy.
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