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(Review originally written at 11 April 2006)

This movie is much hated practically everywhere and of course I can understand why. Basically everyone from the '70's , 80's and 90's generation grew up with playing Nintendo games and the Super Mario games in particular. However when one sees this movie, it becomes pretty obvious early on that this movie has almost nothing to do with the Super Mario video games. The atmosphere, settings and characters are totally different, which is probably the main and also only reason why this movie was and still is hated among so many all over the world.

However, when one has to look at this movie with a fair and unbiased view, one has to come to the conclusion that this movie is good decent entertainment. No, it's not a GREAT movie but it does serve its purpose and that is to provide the viewer with 104 minutes of mindless, simple entertainment.

Kids will most likely like this movie best. The story is wonderfully adventurous and it all is very childishly simple constructed. I mean, the story and setting all basically have very little to do with the games but when you just have to judge the story, it's a pretty good and well thought out one. If the main characters were, let's say, some average Manhattan plumbers named the William's brothers and the entire movie wasn't based on a series of video games, than perhaps the movie would had received a far better reception and would had entertained and reached a wider audience.

All of the characters are pretty entertaining and work out well in the movie. This is probably mainly due to the well known cast. Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo are the Mario brothers and they form a pretty good main duo. Dennis Hopper also is in his element as the ruthless, over-the-top, stereotyped villain King Koopa. He gives the movie a certain extra fun and flair. Other well known actors in the movie are Fiona Shaw, Gianni Russo (Carlo Rizzi from the first two The Godfather movies) and Lance Henriksen in a very small cameo role.

Unlike the games, the movie is a dark one. All of the sets are dark which was perhaps not the greatest atmospheric mood for the story and the entire movie in general. All of the sets are disappointing, small and unimaginative looking. Same goes for the costumes and most of the make-up effects. The movie however has some good and convincing looking early special effects. Remember folks, that it was 1993 when this movie was released.

The movie however is most of the time a bit too childishly told and the dialogs are below par and too simple.

The pace and editing is good but the movie severely lacks some action and real interesting moments. At moments it takes too long before something good or interesting happens again, which makes this movie perhaps a bit boring and uninteresting to watch at certain points.

All in all it's a not very successful- but still yet entertaining first attempt at making a movie based on a video game. Certainly better than some of those movies based on video games, released this present day!

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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