It's 2015 and we are in a time where it's nearly impossible going to the movies without seeing anything that is based, remaked or rebooted. For some it works and for some doesn't. What I do not understand when it doesn't , and you have the material , let's say any kind of marvel movie has basically enough material to base on to make decent movies as we can see lately. So why did the fantastic four movies suck? Why did X-men 3 so bad? They clearly had the material but were not able to work with it and fit it all into one movie. That's one thing that's worse enough , having enough material and not be able to provide a decent movie.
But what to do if your being asked to do a movie that is based on such a simple fact than to jump on mushrooms ,run and safe a princess?
You need to make it interesting.
Of course having a movie based on super Mario should be interesting enough, but still people were smart enough to know that you can not give us a 2D movie a big fat ass turtle dragon and just a princess to safe. You normally take the controller and start running with our favorite Italian plumper to the rescue of our favorite princess. But did you ever think of how Mario arrives to this world? Where does a plumper come from in a world with princesses and attacking turtles? If he is a visitor from this world coming through pipes how does he arrive there and why?
It's the backstory we were always interested in, and I think the Super Mario movie explained it pretty decent, in a time where CGI and SFX weren't decent as now.
Does Mario just flush the toilette and arrives to the magic kingdom?
Does he travel to another planet in this galaxy? And if so, how does a plumper get the money to travel through space? No, he travels to the center of the universe based in a parallel universe, where dinosaurs survived the asteroid and created their own evolution chain.
And to face a world like this, you should not be alone, be happy if your brother is with you.
We do not know the exact age of Mario when he started his first quest to save the princess, but so far we can tell now, he is probably not in his mid twenties. So Bob Hoskins was the perfect choice to portray Mario, so don't get me wrong with the next, Hoskins actors league is a great one ,and sure there would have been another great actors to portray Luigi, but I think with John Leguizamo we had a great comic relief that defined the Mario brothers.
As I said with a movie based on Super Mario in this time, you had a whole universe to fill, and you need to put some imagination in it, and maybe change some things to make it work. You can't have Bob Hoskins jumping over mushrooms, you can't have him eating mushrooms and make him 5" tall. Take what you can adapt, Mario can't take a flower and throw fireballs in the movie, ok, but you can give him a fire thrower.
Is it the same ? No, but is it a suitable adaptation? Yes it is.
Why? isnt Mario in a Blue sky wonderland? Because the Villains already won, Cooper has the city under control and corrupts the mushroom kingdom.
And we need the Mario Bros. now to have our happy kingdom.
If Bowser would win in the video games, our princess would be gone.... (thanks to the movie, we know what Cooper would do other things to her also)
...and Mushroom Kingdom would be suffering in a reign of terror & fire.
But the writers of this movie, did the best they can with the source Material. Jumping over Goombas, would have been a weird adaption, so I think that the goombas in the movie are pretty sweet, big & menacing.
Also, I thought that the way Mario was able to jump "higher" was a clever solution...
And with the fusion of the two dimension at the end, we arrived to the end of our origin story, now we know how Mario could get to his next mission.
If this movie would come out this year, Toad would probably look more than the source material, being CGI with his blue vest and I cant really think what else he could have been than a comic relief. I am even sure, if know a Super Mario Bros. movie would be released, it would be completely CGI and probably look more like the coming Angry birds movie.
Don't get me wrong here, I am not trying to convince you that this is an awesome movie, sure, it is now a classic fail/fun movie, but I would like to give credit here to the people who tried their best to provide us a good story from something simple, and not making something simple having a full background of history such as previous mentioned examples.