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Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film that isn't afraid to be FUN: The Genius of Super Mario Bros., January 20, 2012
This review is from: Super Mario Bros. (DVD)
Over the last few years, Super Mario Bros. has evolved into a more well-received film as it has reached a cult classic status in the eyes of nostalgic moviegoers that grew up in the late 80s and early 90s. As present-day moviegoers are drowned in over-the-top, often times cheap-looking computer generated graphics in just about every film nowadays, it has become refreshing to look back at films from the 80s and 90s where higher budgets allowed large scale practical effects & set pieces to push the technological envelope. It was a time where a dab of CGI could complement or enhance the film's special effects rather than completely replace them. Films like Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, and yes, even Super Mario Bros. found that perfect balance between practical effects & CGI and paved the way for so many "unfilmable" stories to be made into films today.

Although there is no denying the fact that the atmosphere of the film is a departure from the original source material, the film still successfully captures the spirit of the video game, but with a more adult-oriented twist. While the film doesn't have any of those colorfully polished, fantastical landscapes that the video game is known for, what it does offer is the same adventurous, playful spirit of the game. If you watch the film closely, you'll see that even through the dystopian, Blade Runner-esque art direction and set design, there are a multitude of references to the video games proving that for every gritty aspect of the film that seems like it doesn't fit in with the game, there are many other aspects that are taken straight from the game. References to the Bullet Bills, Bob-Ombs, Hammer Bros., Thwomps, etc. are cleverly scattered throughout the film and any fan of the game will have a blast going on a scavenger hunt to find them as they watch the film.

Looking past the visual aspects of the film that do not seem to fit in even though the ties to the game are countless, the true spirit of the game is found in the enthusiastic, playful performances of Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, and the rest of the cast. Sure, much of the dialogue is campy and over-the-top, but what works so well is how much fun the actors are having in the roles. And that is where this film exudes the true spirit of the games. It is a FUN adventure film just as the games were meant to be a fun journey through each level.

Is it a great piece of cinema history? No, of course not. This was never meant to be an Oscar worthy film, it was simply meant to be fun, escapist, summer entertainment for kids and adults alike that gave them a break from the real world for 2 hours. It's a fine example of films from the early 90s that were just designed to be fun films to take your imagination on a great ride.

So instead of feeling like you're taking a chance with this film, just sit down with a bowl of popcorn, a few friends, and an open mind and simply enjoy a film like Super Mario Bros. that isn't afraid to be a little silly and unrealistic, like so many films of today are. And just in case you need that dose of cynicism that most of today's films have, this one even has a little bit of that too.

To read more about the filmmaking roller-coaster ride Super Mario Bros. went through, be sure to check out [...] for a behind the scenes look at the costumes, props, and sets, as well as what the filmmakers and cast think of the film today!
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