Friday, April 30, 2010

Canon Movie Review: Super Mario Bros.

So I got off early from work tonight. Instead of watching some TV or reading a book or playing a video game, I decided that the best way to spend some of my newly found free time was to watch one of the first, if not the first, movies based off of a video game. In this case, the movie was the 1993 Film Super Mario Bros. The movie stars Bob Hoskins as Mario and John Leguizamo as Luigi. Why the producers of this movie decided to cast an Englishman and a Columbian/Puerto Rican as two Italian brothers is a mystery, but what are you going to do? The plot has the two brothers meeting Daisy (Samantha Mathis), a college student or something who is leading a archeological dig after a meteor which supposedly destroyed the dinosaurs is discovered. However, the Dinosaurs weren't destroyed, instead they were somehow banished to a parallel world and also evolved into humans. I'm going to just leave that whole quagmire alone for now. Anyway, Daisy actually is from the dinosaur world, and was put on our earth just before hatching by her mother with a piece of the meteorite that sent the dinosaurs packing. That piece, if in the right hands, will merge the two worlds together, which is exactly what King Koopa (Dennis Hopper) wants in order to rule both worlds. Oh and King Koopa became King after turning Daisy's father into a giant pile of fungus. Got it? I didn't think so. Well, here's a few notes about this film anyway.

- One thing that this movie did well was the graphics and effects, as well as making creatures like the little raptor Yoshi and the Goombas (who, in this movie, are about eight feet tall with shrunken heads, not even close to how they are in the video game) look. It doesn't look cheesy or anything like that. Say what you want about this movie (and I will), but the special effects, graphics, and makeup departments really did quite well.

- Dennis Hopper plays King Koopa in the movie, and he possesses a rather interesting hairstyle to say the least. I can't really describe it accurately, so I'll show you a picture instead. As for his performance, well, I'd say that he mailed it in, but that would be too kind. (image from

- Whenever you play a Mario Brothers game, the setting is usually a bright, sunny setting, unless you are inside a castle or something. In this movie, everything is so dark, and it always seems to be night time. Also, unlike the game, the two brothers find themselves in some sort of underground metropolis, with people everywhere. There's even a disco that's crowded to the gills. I must have never gotten to that level in the Super Mario Bros. games.

- It was rather interesting to see what they did with some of the characters. For example, Toad is a mushroom in the games, but in the movie he's a man on the street singing protest songs against King Koopa. He eventually gets "de-evolved" into another Goomba, except for some reason he's given a harmonica. Toad was played by Mojo Nixon, a psychobilly singer who has performed such songs as "Destroy All Lawyers", "Burn Down the Malls", and "Elvis is Everywhere".

- By far the most annoying characters in this movie were Iggy and Spike Koopa, King Koopa's cousins and henchman who spend most of the movie bumbling around. Played respectively by Fisher Stevens (who once dated Michelle Pfeiffer) and Richard Edson (the original drummer for Sonic Youth), these two numbskulls supposedly become smarter due to Koopa's evolution machine, but yet they still act like buffoons, bicker like five year olds and generally suck up to every person they come across, even Mario and Luigi, the same men they were assigned to capture. I guess they were supposed to be funny, but they did nothing but grate on my every last nerve for me.

- This movie was apparently a mess behind the scenes. There were four directors (including the future director of Firestorm), and the plot was rewritten so many times that the actors mainly came to ignore the rewrites. Bob Hoskins, who played Mario, said that this movie was the worst thing he has ever done as an actor, and both Leguizamo and Hopper expressed similar feelings about the movie as well. It also doesn't help that the movie cost 42 million dollars to make and only brought back 21 million in box office revenue.

Overall, this isn't the worst movie of all time, but it was a disappointing flick on a lot of fronts. The directors (all four of them) couldn't make up their minds about whether to make this a film directed towards kids or adults, or whether to make this movie match up to the video game or make a whole new story which just happens to be based off of the Mario Bros. The result is a giant mess of a movie that makes little sense, with flat characters and a storyline that is confusing at best. There are some people out there that will defend this movie, saying stuff like "you should turn your brain off and just enjoy the movie, it's fun" Well, fun movies don't have to be stupid and jumbled, and many of them aren't. Bottom line, you'll get a heck of a lot more enjoyment just playing one of the many Mario Bros. video games than spending two hours trying to make heads or tails out of this movie. I'll give it a 2.99 out of 10, as I didn't completely hate it, but there aren't many redeemable factors of this movie either.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any ideas for future posts, than either leave a comment or send me an e-mail at Or if you have anything to say about this post, feel free to express those thoughts as well. I'll leave you with the trailer for this movie, but even the trailer makes no sense, so be prepared.

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