Ok, a lot of people will tell this is one of the worst video-game movie adaptions out there. Those people haven’t seen Postal, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation or House of the Dead. Having watched the Super Mario Bros. movie I can safely say that it has a certain charm about it.
Watching it recently it has to be noted that 2 of the main leads are now dead, Bob Hoskins who plays Mario & Dennis Hopper who plays Koopa. Neither is particularly great here but make admirable effort with the roles they play.
There are a couple of other famous faces throughout such as John Leguizamo as Luigi & Samantha Mathis who plays Princess Daisy (note – not Peach who is a strange omission).
This heavyweight cast is one of the things that makes the movie a lot more bearable, the story though…not so much.
Mario & Luigi are American-Italian plumbers being driven out of business by their big rival, Scapelli. While fixing their broken down van on the street the duo meet Daisy, an orphaned student currently digging for dinosaur bones under the Brooklyn Bridge. She is also coming under attack from Scapeli who has threatened to shut her operation down.
Luigi pretty much falls head over heels for her & with a bit of pushing from Mario asks her out on a date. Later that night, after their date (a double with Mario & his missus) Daisy takes Luigi to the site of her dig. They accidently interrupt Scapeli’s men who have sabotaged a water pipe & causing flooding in the dig chamber.
Enlisting the aid of Mario the plumbers manage to stop the leak but 2 men (who’ve been following Daisy throughout) knock them out & then kidnap her.
Awakening & hearing her cries for help, Luigi & Mario follow deeper into the chamber. They come to a solid wall that ripples & shows Daisy trying to escape the clutches of her kidnappers. Realising it is some sort of portal; Luigi & Mario follow & awake in a futuristic run-down city that seems similar to Brooklyn. The major difference? Humans evolved from dinosaurs here rather than apes & the city is under the control of King Koopa.
Sixty-Five million years ago, when the meteorite hit it split the world into 2 parallel worlds. The dinosaurs all ended up in one & Koopa is trying to re-merge the worlds using a fragment from the meteorite that Daisy has around her neck. The 2 kidnappers work for Koopa & have been trying to find her for a long time. Turns out she is Princess Daisy who is the daughter of the rightful ruler of this world. Koopa used his de-evolution weapon on the King & seized power.
It is now up to Mario & Luigi to rescue Daisy & stop King Koopa….complicated enough for ya? Well there is a hell of a lot more going on than I’ve actually described, this is a film that tries to jam a whole load of Mario in.
It’s a weird one as the film seems to want to stay true to the games but still tell its own story. There are far too many moments when it seems like a nod to the game was jammed in just so you remembered you were watching a video-game movie. The worst bit has to be involving Yoshi who isn’t even green…
Unnecessary sub-plots involving power grabs & Koopa being germophobic just take away from the main duo, Mario & Luigi. The best bits in the movie involve them stepping up to the plate & taking on the roles of heroes.
The use of effects, make-up & outfits has to be praised with plenty of variations. A nightclub scene really showcases the wackiness of the world.
Maddeningly the film just seems to go on & on somehow lasts over an hour & 40 minutes. By time you’ve reached the disappointing ending it has by far outstayed its welcome.
Amazingly the film evens has a sequel-bait final scene…I won’t spoil it for you but it blows my mind that we could have had an actual sequel at some stage. Considering the random attempts to jam in game-related stuff it is also pretty surprising that the music is not used.
It doesn’t do the famous games any justice but how could it? Mario games are not games that translate easily into movies & this is a decent stab at it. The calibre of the actors makes it a mostly enjoyable watch.
Super Mario Bros.