Let’s-a-Go, ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Retrospective

Updated on March 26, 2018
Neutrastaff profile image

Mr. Oneil is a professional journalist who graduated from Norfolk State University with a BA in journalism.

Original Film Poster

Kind of a misleading title.
Kind of a misleading title. | Source

It's Almost Unreal

Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System is probably the first definitive videogame experience with different enemies, different levels, and an interesting story. Due to its success, it was only a matter of time until it spawned a feature film. The film features the same title as the game and came out in 1993. It was directed by Rocky Morton. Just like the game, the film's genre is fantasy adventure.

The film’s plot revolves around two Italian American brothers, Mario and Luigi, who live in Brooklyn and work as plumbers. One day, they meet a girl named Daisy who studies dinosaurs. Two guys named Iggy and Spike kidnap Daisy and take her through a portal deep underground. Mario and Luigi follow them to rescue Daisy. When they go through the portal they find themselves in a dystopia city covered in fungi and has people who evolved from dinosaurs. The two brothers must navigate through the city as they search for Daisy.

Off the bat, besides a few references, the film has very little to do with the videogame. The games feature Mario and Luigi walking left to right smashing brick blocks and jumping on turtles and evil mushroom people. It takes place in a bizarre world where clouds and mountains have faces and everything can kill you by simply touching you.

In this film, Mario and Luigi just meet random people who are inspired by characters from the games. There’s no platforming, no power-ups, no fortresses or castles, or flags. Instead the brothers use fire guns, drive a police car, and don’t even get their trademark red and green outfits until the third act of the film.

The protagonist and titular character Mario is played by Bob Hoskins. Throughout the film he gives off this vibe where it’s as if he’s always wondering why he’s in the film. In the games, his trademark ability is jumping; here it’s just whining and sarcasm. John Leguizamo plays Luigi, Mario’s taller younger brother and secondary protagonist. He’s given more development than the games...slightly. He’s just tagging behind Mario in the games, but in the film he’s attempting to rescue Daisy because he’s fallen in love with her. He has adorkable moments but his character just feels flat.

Samantha Mathis plays Daisy. In the games the main character the brothers are rescuing is Peach. While Daisy is featured in the spinoff handheld game Super Mario Land, Peach is often considered the main female character in the game franchise. Likewise it’s shown that Mario and Peach may have a romantic interest in each other, here it’s Luigi and Daisy. Daisy doesn’t really do much except stay captured for a good portion of the film. She does befriend a small dinosaur named Yoshi.

Yoshi is a character introduced in the fourth main Mario game, Super Mario World. In it he’s a green raptor-like dinosaur with a long tongue and who’s large enough for Mario to ride like a horse. In the film he still resembles a raptor and has the long tongue but is brown and is only the size of a dog. He befriends Daisy, which doesn’t happen in the games.

The main villain is King Koopa, played by Dennis Hopper. In the games he's known as Bowser, but is still a king. Just like his game counterpart, here he's interested in the kidnapped heroine for his own purposes. Bowser's species is never stated, though he appears as a cross between a turtle, dinosaur, and dragon. In the film he does say he's descended from a tyrannosaurus and does exhibit reptilian attributes. He’s portrayed in the film as being charismatic to newcomers but a large ham when upset or angered. He does have a henchwoman named Lena, played by Fiona Shaw. She is somewhat flat, but has her own agenda that doesn't really go anywhere.

Iggy and Spike are played by Fisher Stevens and Richard Edson respectively. They're pretty much the comic relief characters who don't really do much for the film. Koopas and Goombas are enemies in the games that resemble turtles and walking mushrooms respectively. Both are a little smaller than Mario. Here they both tower over Mario and Luigi and resemble large people with tiny reptilian heads.

Another minor character in the film is Daniella, played by Dana Kaminski. Mario’s first game was actually Donkey Kong, which originally came out in arcades in the early 80s. In that game Mario had to rescue another woman named Pauline. Daniella is basically Mario’s love interest in the film and is also based off of Pauline. The original script of the film even list Daniella’s middle name as Pauline.

At the very beginning of the film they play the Super Mario theme from the original game. Despite the film being in a dystopia city, much of the music is upbeat which clashes with the tone. The only other memorable song is ‘Almost Unreal’ performed by music duo Roxette in the film’s end credits.

Overall this is another film that can’t be recommended to anyone. Fans of the videogames will dislike the film due to straying from the source material and newcomers will be confused as to what’s going on. When not compared to the games it’s a somewhat descent fantasy film, but it’s only remembered due to the name attached to it.

Original film trailer

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Staff Oneil

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)