This is my brother, Mario Mario and I’m Luigi Mario. Yes, that is a line from the 1993 Super Mario Bros. And yes, that line is an indication of how truly bad this movie was. This movie was nothing like the game that takes place in the Mushroom kingdom. Nothing like the game where I spent countless hours trying to fight off Bowser and rescue Princess Peach (er sorry Princess Toadstool) only to find she is off in some other castle. No, sadly, there is not much about this movie that would make me yearn for Mario days long gone.
If you are familiar with this game, which surely if you have picked up a game controller at all in your life you have, you will understand totally. The game was fantastic. This game started as Donkey Kong, and unbelievably, Mario was not even going to be a title character. In fact, there was even a debate on what his name should be since he must have a name. He started out merely as Jumpman in Donkey Kong. As fate would have it, the landlord of Nintendo’s American warehouse came knocking for some late rent, a landlord named Mario Segali, they realized that Mario was the perfect name for their character. Mario’s second appearance was in Donkey Kong Jr. where he played a villain role.
After a stint in the arcade game Mario Bros, Mario gained popularity with Super Mario Bros.. The game was hugely successful. They game was hugely successful. It became one of the bestselling games of all time and was considered to be one of the best games ever (put in context of when it was developed). Super Mario Bros was also the launching point for a whole series of games that proved to be wildly popular. If anyone considers themselves a gamer, they surely have played Super Mario Bros at least a time or two.
The success of the game made Mario himself famous. Even non-gamers will recognize a picture of Mario. One could argue that he is as recognizable as Disney’s Mickey Mouse. We all know who he is. Arguably he is just as recognizable as Disney’s own Mickey Mouse. Gaming characters don’t get any bigger than good old Mario Mario. With this in mind, it was inevitable that a movie would be made. And so in 1993, a movie starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo was introduced to the world. This film was unimaginatively Super Mario Bros.
One is left thinking, how in the world could a movie be adapted from the video game. The short answer is, you can’t. First, the story doesn’t take place in the Mushroom Kingdom… It takes place in Brooklyn and then goes to another dimension where apparently, dinosaurs have evolved. Yes, that’s a thing. But wait, it gets even weirder. Princess Peach is not even in the story. Instead it is our precious Daisy, who apparently came from this other world and has some necklace of destiny. Oh, and at the beginning of the movie hatched, she hatched from an egg… Let that sink in. The whole thing is a hodgepodge of utter confusion. About the only thing they got right was making the Mario brothers plumbers. In fact, I was so confused by the whole movie, I felt like I had to watch it again. Maybe the first time I had the flu or something. No, the second time proved to be just as painful, just as confusing.
The movie could have been so good. Why didn’t they go with fantasy theme that told a compelling story taking place in the Mushroom Kingdom? Why did they feel that it had to be so radically different than the game that was so hugely popular? Why are there dinosaurs wearing clothes?!?
Ugly… That word is harsh, I know it is. But that is the impression I get when watching this movie. Where much of Super Mario Bros the game is bright and colorful, the movie is gritty, dark, and dirty. While there were characters that we all came to know such as Toad and Yoshi, they all look rather weird and scary.
This movie is sort of a cult classic because of how bad it is. Some people, not me, watch it simply because it is so bad. Personally, because it has nothing to do with the game, I can’t get any enjoyment out of it. I like weird stuff, do not get me wrong, but this movie goes beyond simple weirdness and ventures into the bizarre. There is so much neglect for the source material that one has to wonder if the creators of this movie were even slightly familiar with the game.
In conclusion, if you want to suffer and be scarred for life feel free to watch this movie. But if you want to see it because you are curious about what it really is like I suggest cut yourself the torture and watch the CinemaSins for this movie.