tek's rating: ½

Super Mario Bros. (PG)
Badmovies.org; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; Super Mario Bros. The Movie Archive; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: none that I know of

This came out in 1993, but I didn't see it until 2013 (wow, 20 years later). It was pretty heavily panned by critics, and was not a commercial success. Still, I've always wanted to see it. And now that I have, I can say... it wasn't as bad as I feared. I mean, it was one of the most redonkulous things I've ever seen, but that's what makes it so funny. There are numerous plot points that don't make any sense at all, and even the things that make some kind of sense could only do so in an absurd movie like this. Of course, it would be pretty much impossible to make a movie based on the Super Mario Bros. video games make any real sense, but... I'm sure it could have been done better than this. Honestly, the movie bears very little resemblance to the games. But at least it's about a pair of plumber brothers, Mario Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi Mario (John Leguizamo), who get caught up in a battle against an evil reptilian king named Koopa (Dennis Hopper). And one thing the movie does sort of succeed at, which they games never did, is explaining just how a pair of plumbers from Brooklyn became heroes in the first place.

So basically, 65 million years ago, a meteorite struck the Earth (in what would later be Brooklyn) and rather than killing all the dinosaurs, it created an alterate dimension in which the dinosaurs survived and evolved into slightly reptilian humans, while in our world humans evolved from apes. Flash forward to 20 years ago, a woman comes from the other dimension to ours, and leaves a baby on a church doorstep. Flash forward to the present, that baby is now a young woman named Daisy (Samantha Mathis), who is conducting an archaeological dig. However, some rich guy is making trouble because he found iridium there, and blah blah blah. Oddly enough, the rich guy apparently owns a plumbing business, I guess. And his company gets all the jobs, which means Mario and Luigi can't get any work. Incidentally, young women have been disappearing recently. Anyway, one day Mario and Luigi meet Daisy, and Luigi develops an immediate crush on her. The two of them end up on a double date with Mario and his girlfriend, Daniella. Shortly thereafter, Daniella is abducted by a pair of bumbling mooks named Iggy and Spike, who work for Koopa. It seems they're looking for Daisy, but keep getting the wrong girl.

But eventually they do get the right girl, and the Mario brothers give chase... which leads into the other dimension. Which is basically a dystopian society that bears no resemblance I could see to the world of the games. Koopa himself didn't look like the Koopa from the games, though some of his "goombas" were more reptilian, because of a devolution machine that had been used on them. And basically, Koopa wants to use a fragment of the meteorite, which Daisy had, to merge the two dimensions, so he could take over our world. (Which I find highly unlikely, considering our world's vastly superior resources. His devolution weapons might be effective in an initial strike, but there's no way he could have won a war against us. But let's just ignore that fact, shall we?) Anyway, the Marios have to put a stop to his plans, and rescue Daisy (and the women who had been taken by mistake). There are any number of complications to the plot, such as Daisy learning a bizarre fact about her father. And the question of what side Iggy and Spike are actually on. And the fact that this woman named Lena who worked with Koopa was jealous of his interest in Daisy. And I guess that's all I want to say. Except that there's an amusing little bonus scene after the closing credits.

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