Super Mario Bros. (1993)

reviewed by
Mathew Tschirgi

Movies have been based on novels for a while. Even old TV-shows and comic books. But only recently have movies been based on video games. The following are short reviews of some recent movies based on video games. Enjoy. Send any comments/critiques/flames to (me). Enjoy!!

SUPER MARIO BROS.: THE MOVIE (1994) Starring: Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo

This movie is based off the wildly popular video-game series of the same name. Before this film, the game had a few spin-off cartoons- which were OK. But the idea of doing a movie is insane. It should have been animated, if it should have been done at all. Instead the people do the best they can with a talented cast. Yet it still fails.

The plot is completely different from the game's plot- I'm not complaining about that. The story involves the Mario Bros. having a plumbing business in Brooklyn and having to compete with a rival company. Eventually they find a construction site by their nemesis, which happens to be enviromentally un-safe. So, due to Luigi's (John Leguizamo) girlfriend - Princess Daisy - they go and investigate. They get transported to a Blade Runner-esque world lead by King Koopa (Dennis Hopper). Somehow a plot dealing with all the dinosaurs being mutated and transported to an alternate futuristic mega-city jumbles in. The plot is fine- better than the movie deserves.

The acting is OK. This seems to be more of a visual film. The special effects are good, especially on the robotic Yoshi. However the film drags and is no fun. And it leaves itself open to a sequel, which probably won't ever be made. This movie begins sort of promising, but ends up leaving a weird taste in your mouth. So if you want to watch a sort of odd movie starring the excellent Dennis Hopper, then watch SUPER MARIO BROS.: THE MOVIE. You could do worse. But you could definitely do better... *1/2 out of ****.

STREET FIGHTER: THE MOVIE (1995) Starring: Raul Julia and Jean Claude Van-Damme

This movie was based off of a series of never ending sequels to a game called Street Fighter 2. It has all the characters from the game in a reasonable plot. It is more like a "movie" than it should be. Yes, it's watchable. Raul Julia does a good job, considering this was his final film. While the game had non-stop fighting sequences, this movie is a hodge-podge of action scenes and flashy sets and costumes while trying to show off a plot at the same time. Does it work? Sort of...

The plot involves the evil Shadowloo Organization run by M. Bison (Raul Julia). Guile (Jean Claude Van-Damme) takes his troops to attack Bison's main base in an attempt to liberate the innocent villages he has taken over. In a short amount of time, the movie introduces several characters well. It catches your attention. But it ultimately seems like a showcase for fans of the game so you can point out things like "There's Chun Li!!" or "Look at that Fire-Ball Ryu did at Vega". It hits the bases by presenting the characters in a plot with good sets, but goes no further.

This movie needed more action in the first place. The action scenes that are here are short and not very exciting. If you like light-hearted action flicks, or if you liked the game, watch this one. It is even worth watching if you want to see Raul Julia's last performance, or if you can't get enough of Van Damme. Other than that, you could find better action flicks. ** out of ****.

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