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Super Mario Bros (1993) film review


Directed by: Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel

Written by: Parker Bennett, Terry Runte, Ed Solomon

Starring: Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper and Samantha Mathis

Throwback Film Review by: Rachel Pullen


Super Mario Bros. Film Review

I coined my own term, it’s Bubble-gum action, and this little phrase fell from my lips as I was watching the Power Rangers film a few months back…and it got me to thinking, what was it with the early 90’s and making these soft action films? Where they’re not quite for kids and not quite for adults, films like the Power Ranger’s movie, Tim Burton's Batman and the many follow ons in that franchise and of course, the subject of this week’s Throwback film review: Super Mario Bros. (1993).

I’m going to assume everyone knows who the Mario brothers are, so I’m not even going to play nice this week and break it down for you but if you’re not really into gaming, I will inform you that there are a bunch of other players on that stage, such as Princess Peach and Daisy, a dinosaur called Yoshi and of course villains such as Bowser and King Kooper. Are we all on board? Good, let’s jump down a pipe into another dimension then as we enter the world of the mushroom kingdom…

WRONG!!! This is the movie you fool and the mushroom kingdom does not exist, but don’t fear for some reason we start off on the right foot, it’s Brooklyn, Mario and Luigi are plumbers etc but when they go into the other dimension after trying to help their pal Daisy because she was snatched by some goons while they were chilling, we find ourselves in a place called Dinohatten.

Daisy has some necklace that is a special rock and the king of Dinohatten, King Koopa wants said rock so he can put it in another rock and then make the two dimensions between the real world and the dino world one, and so after sending his goons to Brooklyn to get the necklace, which is then lost on arrival, he must hunt it down while keeping an eye on Daisy….phew, writing that out makes me realise why people did not like this film on release.

Now as you can tell this film is kind of out there, and that is cool with me but if you have tuned in to seeing the actual story of Mario and his pals then you’re about to have sad feelings, for Super Mario Bros. is not a film about the super Mario brothers, but rather a film with the theme of the concept, based around the idea…I mean that’s the best way to describe it.

I clocked this within the first half of the film and by throwing away any expectations I actually really enjoyed the film, it was a bold and refreshing approach to this bubble gum action film, the Power Rangers’ film was just one long television episode, Burton’s Batman movie followed the instructions to the mark and produced a solid yet predictable project, but Super Mario Bros. throw out the manual and start going ham.

The acting is solid, the sets and costumes are amazing, and I want it all in my house to look at and wear, and for 1993 the effects are not too bad. And let me say this Yoshi is iconic!!!

Of all these 90s kids/adult action films I’m going to say it, Super Mario Bros. is the best one, you care about the characters a lot due to good scriptwriting, you are invested in the pace of the story and the action scenes do not make up most of the screen time, this movie for all its bad press is not a bad example of how to do bubble gum action right.

So here we are at the end, all full of love for Italian plumbers and dinosaurs and we must ask…what have we learned?

  • Other dimensions are everywhere

  • Yoshi will one day be mine

  • I thought I could just write jokes about this movie but instead I fell in love…damn.



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