Super Mario Bros. is a 1993 science fiction fantasy adventure comedy film loosely based on the Nintendo's video game franchise of the same name. This was the first live-action video game film adaptation ever made.
The movie itself has always been hated by critics and fans, but with the advent of the internet, it has gained a cult following under a "so bad, it's good" feel.
Sixty-five million years ago, a meteorite crashes into the Earth, killing the dinosaurs and causing the universe to split into two parallel dimensions. The surviving dinosaurs cross over into this new dimension and evolve into a humanoid race.
In the present, Mario and Luigi are two Italian American plumbers living in Brooklyn, New York, who are currently being driven out of business by the mafia-like Scapelli Construction Company led by Anthony Scapelli. Later, Luigi falls in love with an orphaned NYU student named Daisy, who is digging under the Brooklyn Bridge for dinosaur bones. After a date, Daisy takes Luigi back to the bridge only to witness one of Scapelli's men sabotaging it by leaving the water pipes open. Unable to fix the flooding, Luigi and Daisy rush back to his apartment where they inform Mario about the incident. The trio returns to the flooding where the Mario Bros. manage to fix it but are knocked unconscious by Iggy and Spike, who proceed to capture Daisy.
Moments later, Mario and Luigi awaken and head deeper into the caves following Daisy's screams and discover an interdimensional portal allowing the Mario Bros. to follow Daisy. It turns out that Iggy and Spike are henchmen (and cousins) of the other world's germophobic and OCD dictator, King Koopa, who descended from the most revered dinosaur, the Tyrannosaurus rex. The Mario Bros. realize they didn't bring Daisy's rock, a meteorite fragment which Koopa is trying to get in order to merge his world with the real world. It is then revealed that Daisy is the long-lost Princess of the other dimension. When Koopa overthrew Daisy's father (and de-evolved him into fungus), her mother took her to Brooklyn using the inter-dimensional portal. The portal was then destroyed, killing Daisy's mother in the process, but Scapelli's men inadvertently reopened the portal when they blasted the cave. Upon hearing this, Koopa sends Spike and Iggy to find both Daisy and the rock to merge the dimensions and make him dictator of both worlds. However, after Koopa subjects them to one of his experiments to make them more intelligent, Spike and Iggy realize Koopa's evil intentions and side with the Mario Bros. Koopa believes only Daisy can merge the worlds, but the Mario Bros. are also from a different place and time. Eventually, the Mario Bros. rescue Daisy with the help of Toad, a good-natured guitarist who was punished by Koopa for performing music that protests his reign (for which he is de-evolved into a Goomba).
Eventually, the two worlds merge and Koopa turns Scapelli into a chimpanzee before going after Mario, but Luigi and Daisy bring back the rock and the worlds separate again. In Dinohattan, Mario confronts Koopa and eventually defeats him when he and Luigi fire their devolution guns at Koopa and blast him with a Bob-omb, throwing him into a chain suspended vat. Koopa, now turned into a ferocious, semi-humanoid Tyrannosaurus, jumps out of the vat, which is not far away from the Mario Bros., to deliver his final blow, but the Mario Bros. manage to destroy him once and for all by turning him further into an actual T-Rex, which is too intense for him to live through and instead turns him into primordial slime. Following Koopa's defeat, Daisy's father turns back to normal and reclaims control over the kingdom. The citizens celebrate and immediately destroy anything under Koopa's influence. Luigi admits his love for Daisy and wants her to come to Brooklyn with him, but Daisy can't come until the damage caused by Koopa is repaired and thus, she wants to spend more time with her father. Heartbroken, Luigi kisses Daisy goodbye as he and Mario return home to Brooklyn, with Daisy watching them leave. Three weeks later, the Mario Bros. are getting ready for dinner when their story comes on the news and the anchorman says they should be called the "Super Mario Bros." Daisy asks the Mario Bros. to help her and says, "You're never gonna believe this!"
In a post-credits scene, two Japanese business executives propose making a video game based on Iggy and Spike, who decide on the title The Super Koopa Cousins.
Why It Sucks
- The main flaw of the movie is it's extremely poor grasp of the source material. The characters are completely different from their video game incarnations.
- Mario and Luigi are portrayed as father and son.
- Princess Peach does not appear and she is replaced by Princess Daisy (who, during that period, only appeared in Super Mario Land)
- Bowser (also known as King Koopa) is a human rather than a giant turtle with spikes.
- Toad is just an edgy emo kid who barely gets any screen time rather than an anthropomorphic mushroom.
- Koopas are just men with shrunken lizard heads.
- Goombas are just humanoids with monster-like heads, to the point of becoming one of the movie's most frequently mocked design decisions.
- Bullet Bills are literally just normal bullets.
- Yoshi and Big Bertha also look completely different, Yoshi looks like a rejected Jurassic Park dinosaur extra and Big Bertha is a human rather than a fish.
- Mario doesn't have an Italian accent despite this being one of his most peculiar and famous characteristics (likely because he didn't really have a defined voice until Super Mario 64).
- Super Mushrooms act as shields and are obtained from a weird fungus growing all over the kingdom rather than from the Question Mark Blocks you see in the games.
- Only one of the 7 Koopalings appears, and that is Iggy.
- There is a pointless running gag of Bowser trying to order pizza.
- Filming was apparently so taxing on the actors that they would get drunk just to make it through the whole ordeal. John Leguizamo was so drunk that he braked too hard while driving a van and slammed the door on Bob Hoskins' hand.
- Laughable dialogue, two notable examples being Bowser saying "Bob-Omb!" and "Monkey!".
- The directors wanted the movie to be aimed towards more mature audiences despite the fact the Mario games are for kids. This is reflected in the fact that certain scenes can be pretty dark for a movie that is supposedly aimed towards children.
- The Koopas, Goombas, and Yoshi are all unpleasant to look at.
- The original Super Mario Bros. theme is only used once in the entire film.
- False advertisement and misleading title: The film title is called “Super Mario Bros.”, yet Mario and Luigi are portrayed as father and son in the film. Yes, really.
- A creepy opening scene when Daisy's mother delivers an egg at the church's doorstep.
- The redesigns of the Mario Bros are really dull.
- This film was the first to use the now-industry standard Autodesk Flame software for its special effects, which were considered groundbreaking at the time, and still look impressive today.
- The costumes are pretty good.
- There are some funny moments here and there.
- The film's soundtrack has some surprisingly decent songs. Most notably, "Almost Unreal" by Roxette.
- Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo's performances are good and the two actors have good chemistry.
- The film surprisingly lacks product placement at least.