Film (1993). Lightmotive/Allied Filmmakers in association with Cinergi Productions. Produced by Jake Eberts and Roland Joffe. Directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel. Written by Parker Bennett & Terry Runte and Ed Solomon based on the concept and characters created by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka of Nintendo. Cast includes Dennis Hopper, Bob Hoskins, John Leguizamo, Samantha Mathis and Fiona Shaw. 104 minutes. Colour.
US comedy adventure film based on the hugely popular Japanese computer games, made by Nintendo, starring Mario and Luigi: the Super Mario Brothers. Sixty-five million years ago a meteor struck America in what is now Brooklyn, splitting Earth into two alternate worlds, in one of which the humanoid dominant species has descended from intelligent Dinosaurs, the other being our own world. A child from the dinosaur world is hidden in ours by her justifiably worried mother, using a meteor fragment to open a gateway between the two worlds. That child, now a young woman, is Daisy (Mathis), a university student studying dinosaur remains in Brooklyn. When she is kidnapped and returned to her own world, she is followed by two resourceful plumbers, Mario (Hoskins) and his younger brother Luigi (Leguizamo), who have befriended her. King Koopa (Hopper) wants her for the meteor fragment she now wears as a pendant, for with this fragment he can invade our world and take it over by using his Devolution gun to turn humans into apes. (He has already devolved the old king Bowser, Daisy's father, into fungus.) The movie is not a mere attempt to find cinematic equivalents for the various facets of the original games that have now developed iconic significance for the young, and is surprisingly inventive, though it moves at perhaps too leisurely a pace. Koopa and his sinister but intelligent mistress Lena (Shaw) carry off the acting honours. In this well written but routinely acted and directed film, the well-realized dystopian city of Koopa's world is amusingly like a comic-book version of the city in Blade Runner. [PN]
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