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Super Mario Bros. The Movie-Was it Really That Bad?

Lightmotive Pictures

Back in 1993, I found out that my favorite video game characters were going to hit the silver screen! MARIO AND LUIGI! I couldn’t wait! Watching fireballs fly, jumping on Koopa’s, squishing Goomba’s, etc! As a kid, who wouldn’t be excited to see this? Instead, what we got, was something COMPLETELY different. This movie TANKED at the box office. Is the Super Mario Bros. Movie, really that bad?

Let’s start off with the plot of the movie. A meteor crashed into the Earth over 65 million years ago. Wiping away any kind of life, and especially killing all the dinosaurs. What if the dinosaurs weren’t all destroyed? What if the impact of that meteorite, created a parallel dimension, where the dinosaurs continue to strive, and evolve into human beings?!?! (Sound like Super Mario Bros yet?) We come to the our 2 heroes, a British actor Bob Hoskins as Mario (not a bad choice) and Latino actor and comedian John Leguizamo (huh???) They come across Daisy who is digging for dino bones, but she also has this shiny rock necklace (we’ll get there…). Luigi happens to fancy her and starts to find out more about Daisy. Meanwhile, in the parallel dimension, Koopa reigns supreme over the Mushroom Kingdom. A wasteful city full of crime and oddities. Koopa’s plan is to merge the dimensions (human and dinosaur) and reign supreme! In order to do this though, he needs the missing meteorite piece to merge the dimensions (that rock that is on Daisy’s necklace…remember?). Koopa sends his cousins Iggy and Spike to kidnap Daisy…and wouldn’t you know it? THEY DO! Mario and Luigi must save their home world and Daisy.

Reviews from this movie are all pretty bad. The lead actor Bob Hoskins (Mario) even said this was the WORST thing he ever did in his career. Rotten Tomatoes score is 16% (which is pretty bad…) The creator of Super Mario Bros. Shigeru Miyamoto even said “It was not faithful to the original idea of Super Mario Bros.” So with all of the horrible reviews, the creator of Mario, and the guy who performed as him all think it sucks, is there any hope for this movie?

In my opinion, yes. I will admit, it is not a great movie, or even a good movie, but it is a fun movie. It’s one of those movies that falls under the “It’s so bad, it’s good” quote. What the directors did to this movie (it was a wife and husband team, that were always fighting and changing things) is purely horrific. They clearly did not understand the subject matter of it. Think about it though, how do you take a subject like Super Mario Bros. and turn it into an action flick? Who wants to watch a dude breaking bricks and pulling up flags? Unless you’re talking about a Saturday Morning Cartoon, Super Mario Bros. has to be INSANELY difficult to work with. If you enjoy the little things about Super Mario Bros, you might actually enjoy this movie. Just the thought that Mario and Luigi (who are two Italian Plumbers) are portrayed by a British actor and a Latino actor, is just hilarious. Plus only Hoskin’s has the trademark mustache! Dennis Hopper as Koopa, and his crazy hairstyle? Also, what is with that crazy shaking thing they do??!? IT MAKES NO SENSE MAN! (The directors also directed “Max Headroom,” which is where that “head shake thing” came from) Also, the Mushroom Kingdom is a crazy looking version of New York City…Who came up with all of this crap?

What you need to do, to enjoy this movie, is to look past the fact that it is a Super Mario Bros. movie. If you focus too much on the subject matter of Super Mario Bros, this is most likely the worst movie ever made. However, if your looking for a movie that had A-Movie budgeting, but ended up being a B-Movie, this might be for you. It is just so damn weird, quirky, and strange, you can’t help but enjoy it.

Does it hold up today? Nope, not at all. It was made in the 90′s and will die in the 90′s. Even though it’s just horrible, I can’t help but pop the VHS tape in once in a great while and torture my friends.

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