The legends were all true: this is one of the worst video game movies ever made.
A live action film based on Super Mario Bros. sounds completely ridiculous right from the get go. After all, Super Mario Bros. is about two plumbers who set out to rescue a princess from a gargantuan tortoise-looking monster. So the very first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of the Super Mario Bros. film is who approved the film? If you really think about it, Nintendo has always been one of those companies who is really protective of its franchises and they would never do anything to hurt its most popular characters, right? Enter Super Mario Bros., the first live action film based on a video game to receive a worldwide release and one of the worst films ever made.
Here’s what you should know in terms of story: 65 million years ago, in what’s now known as Brooklyn, a meteor struck the surface of the Earth killing pretty much everything in it, including dinosaurs. That’s what the text books say, but in reality, the meteor crash was so powerful that it created a portal to a parallel dimension inhabited by both humans and dinosaurs. Most of the creatures that live in the parallel universe are stupid-looking dinosaurs known as Goombas.
The portal is currently located in Brooklyn where two plumber brothers live (fun fact, these two brothers are called Mario Mario and Luigi Mario.) A woman called Daisy is in an excavation site digging up dinosaur remains and soon enough, she realizes that she owns a magical meteor shard that allows her to visit that other dimension. But if the rocks fall into the wrong hands, that will allow Bowser and his minions to merge the two dimensions, ending the world as we know it.
When some people who disagree with the excavation intentionally ruin the digging site, the Mario brothers go to fix it, but then our favorite plumbers end up in the new dimension where they will try to save the damsel in distress. Interestingly, this new dimension known as Mushroom Kingdom is a dystopian society where a king called Koopa rules with an iron fist. Koopa captured the princess because he’s interested in the meteor shard around her neck and… well, guess that’s enough about the nonsensical and asinine story.
At this point, you probably made up your mind about this film, but believe me, you haven’t heard anything yet. For starters, the characters are absolutely boring and on top of that, they follow specific stereotypes. You have the older, overprotective brother who knows a lot about life in general. There’s the younger, naive brother who’s always telling jokes and getting in trouble. Then there’s the blond girl who was abandoned as a baby with a magical stone around her neck. There’s also the evil sergeant and his goons who kidnap princesses in their free time and the list goes on and on.
The people behind this film had no appreciation for the video game and that lack of interest shows in every aspect of the movie. The dialogue is horrendous, the story is unoriginal, actors seem disinterested with this project (go figure), the writing is offensive and misogynistic and the costumes, oh the costumes. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg, since Super Mario Bros. is full of awkward moments (two words: dinosaurs dancing) and for a movie whose primary audience is children, there are way too many guns and weapons. But posing questions or even questioning the quality of this “thing” would be giving it much more credit than it deserves. After all, this adaptation managed to ruin one of the most beloved franchises in the history of games. If you have any appreciation for movies as an art form, avoid this film.
To sum up, not only is Super Mario Bros. one of the worst video game movies, but also one of the worst movies of all times. Most events are blatantly absurd, actors couldn’t care less about anything that happens in the movie, the story is absurd, the special effects are anything but special and some ridiculous scenes are likely to cause anger instead of laughter. Here’s a personal anecdote: I was recently watching an interview with John Leguizamo and like most people involved in this movie, the actor stated repeatedly that he regrets participating in this film. I Just regret watching it.