Mario Goes to Hollywood: Super Mario Bros.

October 17, 2003

Excuse me for one moment while I get this out of my system. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Okay, I think I can go on to calmly and rationally write this piece. Well, at least I will try. You may be asking yourself at this point, what in the world could she possibly be so distraught over? Well, I will tell you. Super Mario Brothers, the movie.

I have seen this movie before, but I honestly don’t remember it being I this bad. Putting aside all of the normal reasons I would trash a movie, such as bad acting, poor editing, boom mikes hanging into a shot, etc. this movie hurts me in ways that most movies cannot. It butchers my beloved childhood friends and puts them into a plot so hideous that you can’t help but say “what in the hell were they thinking???”

The movie stars Bob Hoskins (of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Maid in Manhattan) as Mario and John Leguizamo (of Moulin Rouge! And The Pest) as Luigi. The movie also stars Samantha Mathis (American Psycho) as Princess Daisy (read Princess Toadstool in the game) and Dennis Hopper (EdTV) as Koopa (read Bowser). It came out in 1993 along with movies like Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven and Scent of a Woman with Al Pacino; comedies like My Cousin Vinny and So I Married an Axe Murderer. So if you think about the time we were at in movie making history, there really is no excuse for the poor quality of this movie.

It starts out with Mario Mario and Luigi Mario, the Mario Bros. plumbing company in the Bronx minding their own business. Then they meet Daisy, a local university student who found evidence of a meteor where “corporate America” is trying to blast to build something. She is fighting to protect the dig site that she feels “strangely connected” to. She and Luigi (yeah, Luigi) promptly fall in love. She gets kidnapped by two of Koopa’s minions and they discover a warp in, where else, but the sewer pipes. To make a long story short, Koopa (who should have just been called Bowser, in my opinion) is the dictator of this industrial city that is running out of resources. He looks like a human with really funky hair…scary, huh? It is formed out of a parallel dimension caused by the meteor crash 65 billion years ago. The inhabitants of this city have evolved from dinosaurs, not mammals, like the people from the other dimension (where Mario and Luigi are from). If you aren’t confused enough as it is, Daisy is King Toadstool’s long lost daughter who was brought to the other “mammal” dimension by her mother when she was still an egg and she wears the missing piece of the meteor around her neck which does, guess what, merges the two dimensions! Oh wait, there’s more; Koopa has de-evolved the king into fungus which grows all over the city. He plans to de-evolve all of human kind into monkeys and take over their resources. Toad is a musician, a sort of hippie that sings anti-Koopa songs, that gets turned into a Goomba. Oh, and there is this rather large black woman who helps them out – and I have no idea who she is supposed to be. To make this little synopsis end quickly, they have to save Daisy and beat Koopa. Not to spoil the ending, but they do.

Now that your head is spinning from all that confusing information, you are probably scrolling up to make sure that the movie I was talking about was indeed called Super Mario Brothers. It is. I too was a tad baffled that someone could take Super Mario Brothers, the classic video game and make that out of it. Honestly, I don’t know. The worst part is that the ending actually leaves the door wide open for a sequel, which thank God, didn’
t get made. I could spend hours upon hours talking about what I would have done differently. The point is this – I can’t compare this movie to the video game. I mean, sure I could find the little things they put into the movie that I appreciated, like the presence of Yoshi as the enslaved royal family pet or the Ba-bomb that helps Mario kill Koopa. I think the lesson learned from our first endeavor into the video game-movie crossover is this: don’t try and make a “back story” to a video game. If you can’t make a movie out of what the game already gives you, then you shouldn’t make a movie out of the game.

To say the least, I was a bit disappointed in the outcome of the movie. Although, you will be happy to know that the writers and directors responsible for this abomination have yet to come out with another movie in their careers. Hrm, I wonder why? Hopefully, the next movie-game combo I am going to tackle will actually relate to each other so I can actually compare the two. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Next up: Mortal Kombat. My first time to see the movie AND to play a game on a Sega Genesis. Fun times ahead!