Age sometimes brings clarity. What was great as a child, may not hold up as an adult due to more critical thinking and analysis. On the same hand, some childhood hindrances may give way. Re-watching Super Mario Bros The Movie was an interesting project.
Let’s go to the scoreboard!
If you are a fan of video games you know the reputation this movie has. The hype that it had up until its release and the resounding Boos that surely followed. It was the ultimate let down and destruction of every ones favorite video game character, but how does it fair now….20 or so years later?
Well first off I will say I enjoyed it. It had a fun idea, the acting wasn’t too bad and it had some funny moments as well. Honestly, the biggest flaw that this movie has is the Super Mario Brothers title and licensing. It is as if they had an original idea and were told to change some characters names and sprinkle some video game on top of it. I can see why this movie is hated but I recommend watching it again, and forget the video game that it is supposed to be and take it for the movie that it is.
I will make no bones about it, Super Mario Bros is my favorite gaming franchise, unquestionable. Even as a young child, I always held a special place in my heart for the series. So it only made sense that I held a huge grudge against this movie because of what it does wrong. And it does A LOT wrong in terms of actually being a Super Mario movie.
But remove the Mario dressings for a moment, and you are left with a decent not great sci-fi movie. It is fun, and creative. It has a world all of its own with some very human characteristics. It has likable lead characters and isn’t poorly acted. The mythos is built up well, and it delivers on most of its promises.
Adding the Mario dressings, since it is a Mario movie though. Clouds all of that. All you notice is how this world is nothing like the Mushroom Kingdom. How Goombas.. are just pre-evolved forms of dinosaurs. How Luigi becomes the centerpiece of the story. How they have the ridiculous surname of Mario (making them Luigi Mario and Mario Mario)
So I’m of two minds with this movie. As a Mario movie, I would avoid at all costs. But as a kid friendly sci-fi/fantasy film, you could do worse.
Having said all that, it may just be from the amount of alcohol ingested during this movie. And boy, did we ingest alcohol. This may be the first movie that I personally called in Rubber Nipples because the rules got to be too much to bare. The Mario/Luigi rule was the real killer, it as if they had to remind each other who they were. The Rock was another big one, really any spoken word rule is a killer. Surprisingly the only rule that we didn’t get much use of was the Video Game references….
What is in a name indeed? Its always odd how often characters in a movie refer to each other by name. I mean how many conversations do you hold with friends where you refer to each other by first name… when only talking to the other party? The rule became even MORE fun when they introduced the surnames because we got to hear Mario several times, which meant more drinks.
The rest of the rules were more spread out, mostly focused on the fungus and their plumbing trait (Which shows up a lot in this movie, which is interesting since hardly does it in the games). The game references were far and few between with the highlight being the theme at the very beginning of the movie.
As Swan noted, he called Rubber nipples about 75% into the movie, and it would have gotten worse from the little attention I had afterwards.
Super Mario Bros the Movie is a tough nut to crack. It differs so much and so greatly from the source material that it still makes me angry. Its not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but its also not as bad as my child hood self would have me believe. I can’t recommend checking it out, but I’m not opposed to someone watching it.