Stepping into the theater with my ticket for “The Super Mario Bros Movie” clasped firmly in my hand, I was sure I would leave the building two hours later a changed man and a better person.
I am in tears writing this, for all the wrong reasons; tragically, I was not spiritually enlightened by the viewing of this film.
I was fully expecting this movie to open my eyes to a new way of thinking and forever alter the way I see life, but one-dimensional characters and a paper-thin plot were to be my fate instead.
To start, the character of Mario has been reduced to a hollow shell of what he was in the source material. Where were the philosophical monologues and the layered character development we have all come to know and love about the character?
There is not a single scene in this film where Mario and Luigi have an intense, heart-wrenching argument about who they are as people and why society seems to want to drive them apart, and for that, this movie should be forever scorned.
Even characters like Toad have been reduced to spouting unfunny one-liners. The Toad I know was always a man of depth, worldliness
, and emotional maturity, all of which are entirely absent in this adaptation.
Detractors to my beliefs may argue that this move is supposed to be “fun”. To that, I say the “Mario” franchise has never been about fun. It has always been a highly sophisticated commentary on the current socio-political state of the world, which the filmmakers behind this soulless adaptation have clearly disregarded.
This blatant disregard extends to vital details about the characters, including Princess Peach’s famous outfit. Quite obviously, Peach’s dress is entirely the wrong shade of pink. This lack of attention to detail and vicious disrespect to dedicated fans of the franchise like myself took me entirely out of the film and caused me to have a physical gastrointestinal reaction in the theater.
After being supplied a “throw-up bucket,” as they called it, by theater staff, I was able to continue with the hellish slog of a disappointment that is “The Super Mario Bros Movie.”
Which brings me to Bowser, perhaps the greatest disappointment of all. The iconic villain is played by iconic “funnyman” Jack Black. Yes, the comic actor Jack Black. Why they would cast a comedian as one of the most terrifying and impeccably written characters in all of fiction is beyond me.
This version of Bowser has been stripped of his typically gorgeous dialogue in favor of cheesy quips, like many of the other characters. Gone is the beautiful subtext of the original source material.
“Did someone page the king of awesome?” is perhaps my favorite quote of all the time from the original “Mario” franchise. Who could deny the emotional weight and vivid imagery that a quote like that provides? These new filmmakers, apparently.
By the end of the movie, my throw-up bucket was full, and I was wheeled out of the theater on a stretcher, crushed by the weight of my disappointment and embarrassment.
I arrived at the hospital to find I had fractured a rib from vomiting in disgust.
Without a doubt, I am destroyed by the mismanagement of the most beloved media franchise of all time. I may never walk or see again. I don’t see a point in living anymore, and I hope the next generation of filmmakers tasked with creating a new film adaptation of “Mario” do not ignore the beauty of the original source material.
Photo from universalpictures.com.