Anthony's Film Review
Super Mario Bros. (1993)
The Mario video games are the best, but the movie is the worst...
Super Mario Bros. is notorious for starting an unforgivable trend in Hollywood: movies based on video games that have little artistic quality. Now, there is nothing wrong with adapting a book, TV show, or other artistic creation into film. Theoretically, even a video game as source material for a movie can be acceptable. It's not that video games have nothing that can be adapted. It's that filmmakers who have tried so far simply fail miserably. Don't blame the genre of entertainment for the quality of the film adaptation. Blame the people behind the film.
When I first saw the trailer for Super Mario Bros. in 1993, I thought it was a cool idea to finally bring a popular video game to the big screen. However, something was definitely not right. Even before I finally saw the movie, I knew I wouldn't enjoy it. Basically, the story does not take place in a magical fantasy kingdom where peace is overrun by evil. Instead, it's an urban alternate universe with characters that bear little resemblance to their video game counterparts.
Mario (Bob Haskins) and Luigi (John Leguizamo) are two Brooklyn plumbers, one a fat guy in red and other a thin guy in green. The movie has that right, except Luigi should have a mustache as well. They discover a portal to an alternate world inhabited by reptilian creatures. It's time again to compare the video game and the movie. The Super Mario Bros. games feature walking mushroom-like creatures called Goombas. They are not humanoid creatures with small heads, as this movie portrays them. The villain in the game is Bowser, who is an evil turtle-like dragon creature, but Bowser in the movie is a lizard that still looks too human.
You know what? I would rather make more of these comparisons as my way of reviewing this movie. Both the movie and the game have a princess, but the names are different. Princess Toadstool in the game is your likable maiden to rescue, but Princess Daisy in the movie is just a forgettable blonde chick. Another creature in both versions: the Bo-Bomb, a walking bomb. The problem is that the movie version presents the Bo-Bomb as a small wind-up toy, not big enough to really scare Mario and Luigi.
Because there's so much comparison to make, I'll add just one more and that's it. The Mario games feature magical items to give Mario and Luigi some powers, like a mushroom increasing his size or a flower granting the power to throw bouncing fireballs. The movie has none of these. Not only that. Mario and Luigi's ability to jump high in the film rely on technology, not on magic or human strength.
Basically, Super Mario Bros. is a bad movie with crappy acting, poor script, and senseless concepts. It will exist forever as an insult to fans of the Super Mario Bros. games, especially those who really thought a film based on the game could really work. Now, if they were to make a Mario movie that is animated, perhaps in 3D, and based much more on the fantasy world in the games, I may actually want to see it, but reluctantly since Hollywood's track record of game-based movies is abysmal.
For more information about Super Mario Bros., visit the Internet Movie Database.