Reviews: Super Mario Bros

Blade Runner Meets Beetlejuice: The Ghostbusters of the '90s

In the same vein as Ghostbusters nine years prior, Super Mario Bros. is a film that tackles the concepts of science, pseudo-science and the paranormal in a decidedly tongue-in-cheek manner.

Super Mario Bros. envisions a parallel world where surviving dinosaurs have evolved into creatures resembling humans. However, everything else about them is humorously inhuman. Dinohattan, their world's capitol and mirror of New York, is a melting pot of fashion and atmosphere that takes inspiration from both the griminess of Blade Runner and zaniness of Beetlejuice.

And that is why this film is an instant classic: by grabbing the most visually satisfying elements of the previous decade and spinning them through the unique visions of directors Rockey Morton and Annabel Jankel, Super Mario Bros. managed to be leaps and bounds ahead of the popcorn blockbusters of the same year.

The pure inventiveness of Super Mario Bros.' concept is easily matched by the visually exciting special effects, which are a perfect balance of the best practical effects the industry could then offer and groundbreaking CGI that had never been done before.

Many people feel that this movie just isn't good. Really, that boils down to simply not getting what's being watched. While it may have its flaws as far as structure and pacing, everything from the acting to the witty dialogue is top-notch and well worth checking out for yourself.

Overall, Super Mario Bros. is an adventure you will not soon forget. While it is best appreciated as '90s-inspired nostalgia, it is also a favorite for a new generation as it is introduced to our own children. Don't miss your chance to revisit this classic while also getting your own kids hooked!

Stupid, but charming

Alright, let me say this outright. The Super Mario Bros movie is not a great film. Depending on who you ask, the movie is either the worst example of Adaptation Decay this side of Uwe Boll, or a decent, if not entertaining movie that has nothing to do with the Mario series.

I'm going to try and review this movie objectively:

STORY: D/B+ (YMMV) The plot is absolutely ridiculous. It involves two brothers trying to rescue a girl who's been kidnapped by people evolved from dinosaurs looking for a meteor fragment in an alternate future so a maniacal dictator can "Fuse the Timelines" because he wasted all of the world's water. And he has a devolution gun that turns people into giant cavemen. This is so many levels of stupid that it can be used as a lightning rod during a storm. It's so absolutely ridiculous that it's either completely hilarious or utterly stupid.

CHARACTERS: C Well... they arn't bad per se, but they arn't what you expect from a Mario movie. The Mario series isn't known for character development, but the cast ranges from They Just Didnt Care (I'm looking at you, Bowser) to just a little bit... off. Actually, Luigi is the one that most resembles his Canon counterpart. Still, at their best, the actors are goofy enough to pull it off.

SETTING: B This is probably the movie's best aspect. Pity it has nothing to do with the games. Much of the setpieces (especially Dinohattan,) are extremely well put together, conveying the Crapsackyness of the world without getting too bogged down. This is rather fitting, as David L. Snyder (famous for his work on Blade Runner) designed most of these scenes. There are a few waek areas, however, such as Koopa Tower, but these are rare and far between. Again though, aside from a few small touches, there is absolutely nothing evocative of the Mario series.

RELATION TO CANON: F+ Aside from the Mario Bros, pretty much everything is either In Name Only or totally made up. Bowser, Goombas, Toad... you name it, they've mangled it. There are a few more obscure refrences dotted about the movie, but again; few and far in between.

VERDICT: If you like watching So Bad Its Good movies (or at least making fun of them), then you are going to love this one. Otherwise, don't bother.