2) Super Mario Bros. (1993)
What You Thought As A Kid:
They make films… out of video games? Oh, Boy! And Mario? Gosh! This is so amazing. Look at all the characters I love – they’re in a moving movie! I don’t know any of these actors but they’re in a film, and that’s that! “Everybody Walk The Dinosaur!” I’m gonna! I’m gonna walk it!
What’s Really Going On:
What was this? Who let somebody actually make this movie? What person in their right mind actually stepped out of their front door one day, drove into work, and handed the directing team behind Super Mario Bros. the cash to get this thing made? Because a child doesn’t have the ability to see how badly this adaptation of the world’s most popular video game has gone. Oh, no. For the little nippers it’s just exciting to see that real human beings are playing those familar pixelated characters. And, look, there’s all the gang: Luigi, and Daisy… and Yoshi… is an actual dinosaur? Like, a prehistoric dinosaur? And… Bowser… isn’t? Bowser is Dennis Hopper? Um…
The plot for a Super Mario Bros. game is obviously going to be paper thin. You run left and right (mainly right), killing things and collecting power-ups. Put simply, it’s the simple story of a simple man who goes to a castle and rescues a Princess. From a massive lizard. That’s it. So, somewhat understandably, the filmmakers tried to “flesh” out the story for the adaptation, but how exactly did they get Super Mario Bros. into Blade Runner/dystopian future territory? Especially since this thing was aimed at, um, kids. Seriously, there are so many things at odds with the original game that this might has well have been called DinoMovie. What do you think? DinoMovie it is, then.
Despite the fact that this camp-tastic mess depicts a world that you can imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger racing around and blowing things up in, there is truly nothing that really gels together here. You’ve got meaningless dance sequences, snot-themed plot elements, terrible musical choices, sets that look cheap and fake, a script that Uwe Boll would save for his lavatory, and Bob Hoskins desperately trying to understand why he agreed to play an Italian plumber.
As a kid, I really did enjoy this, but recent viewings have confirmed one thing: nobody was paying attention when they made Super Mario Bros. into a film. I mean, it makes sense that you don’t see Samantha Mathis in movies anymore. She’s probably still getting over the shock… not many actors have been in a movie in which their fathers are revealed to have been transformed into snot. Really, that’s what happens.
Redeeming Factors: Why do I still think this song is amazing, though?
Rotten Tomatoes: 13%