It all started here!
Super Mario Bros. is the film version of the monumentally popular platform game by Nintendo, and also holds the honour of being the very first film ever to be made that was based on a video game (Tron doesn't count because the concept was first and foremost a movie!). The film's plot differs from the game, and revolves around the rescue of Princess Daisy from the evil King Koopa in the Mushroom Kingdom.
That's the exact plot of the game right? Yes, but it's executed in a VERY different way!
Confusingly now on my third viewing for this review, I find myself rather enjoying it again. Forget the accuracy to the game. That was always going to get a 0/10, but for stupid fun in a sort of pseudo post apocalyptic graphic novel type setting, it was strangely satisfying. The grungy/punky look of the film is typical of the early to mid 90s, and while it's all obviously all as cheap as the town ride, it does it's job at portraying a place in decay. It's also a nice little jab at the brain that makes you think “Oh yeah, that's what films looked like back then!”
The music by composer Alan Silvestri is also rather memorable, although none of the iconic game music is used bar a small segment in the opening credits. However, the goofy melodies seem to really suit the situations, which to be honest, you would expect no less from someone of Silvestri's pedigree.
It can't be said that Super Mario Bros. Is a good film though. The 90s 'look', though somewhat nostalgically appealing, is probably due to the necessity of the set designers throwing together any old spares and junk that they could find. I seriously doubt the film got allocated a large budget to play around with, so innovation was the key factor in the film's overall look and feel. To be fair to the makers, it's actually incredibly hard to imagine the world of Super Mario Bros. in a live action film, as it's just not the type of game that translates well to a big screen outing. It would probably have been better suited to a high quality digital animation feature instead, and that way the feel of the game could have been preserved, as well as more fantastic things could have maybe been achieved (I would have still liked Hoskins to do the voice!). However, we must remember that digital animation was still in it's infancy, with only a few scenes in Aladdin being computer generated thus far, and in 1993 we were a good two years off Toy Story, so any hopes of a Mario animated film back then, bar the traditional methods, would have been pretty futile.
The final effect of the film is that it did actually want to make me watch similar movies of the early to mid 90s, like Tank Girl, Judge Dredd, and Crash & Burn, which are all great slices of 90s cheddar. So, while Super Mario Bros. might not have scored any points for innovative film making or fan service, I'm afraid nostalgia won the day today. It fondly reminded me of a time that I lived through as a grubby teenager, and that really put a smile on my face!
Striding forth from his lair at Castle Stareskull one morning, Prototron decided to not reign down terror on the villagers, but instead go back inside, crack open a beer and load up Streets Of Rage 2. One hundred years later, he's still there. A avid music maker (of TERROR!) and retro gamer, he can be found whooping any and all heroes at all manner of SNK-based challenges.