Making the Grades
Based on a popular video game, Super Mario Brothers brings the pixel kings of Nintendoland to life. The story revolves around Mario and Luigi, two brothers who are plumbers. After the younger Luigi meets the girl of his dreams, he finds himself and his brother going into another world to save her -- a world that has been coexisting with ours since the dawn of creation.
With the recent concern over video game violence, one look at this movie will confirm the problem. There is no blood or gore, but plenty of konks on the head, people being attacked by flame throwing weapons, electrocutions... and on and on it goes.
The sad part is this film has an interesting premise, and could have provided an excellent vehicle for a good movie, but once again creativity gave way to the usual Hollywood plan: If you can't write a great story, spend a fortune on special effects.
One of the few redeeming factors is the relationship between Mario and Luigi. Bob Hoskins plays the older Mario, and does a good job of being an everyday guy, who really cares about his brother. There seems to be a work-together relationship here that may be able to teach kids something. The love interest involving Luigi is clean, too, with no inappropriate behaviour.
However, there is a good dose of sexual innuendo elsewhere, with costumes suggesting females are mere sex objects, although the language is tame, with the harshest words falling into the name-calling category. If you are concerned about stories that suggest humans evolved from monkeys, you may find this film offensive, although it makes the evolution idea look totally illogical, and at times outright stupid.
With an obvious plan for a sequel at the end, we can only hope that the writers will put down their joysticks and pick up their pencils for the next one.