Super Mario Bros.
"A long, long time ago the world was ruled by dinosaurs. They were big, so not a lot of people went around hasslin' them. Actually, no people went around hasslin' them because there weren't any people yet, just the first tiny mammals. Basically, life was good."
When you're a dinosaur, you can hardly complain. Sure, it's a barbaric life of carnivores eating the hell out of everyone, and herbivores eating the hell out of every thing, but, really, they're big and they've got pretty awesome looking tails. Plus they're bright orange. No matter where your place is in life, you can hardly complain when you can strut around with the knowledge that you are as orange as an apricot. What could possibly go wrong?
Oh, right, meteor.
However, our narrator proceeds to take this simple scenario and twist into it into a very bizarre thought - what if that meteorite created a parallel dimension where dinosaurs still existed and continued to evolve into intelligent, bipedal beings? And what if, those ferocious and unpleasant bipedal beings found a means of getting to our dimension? Well, it's an interesting thought, but it's not relevant to Super Mario Bros., is it?
... oh, right.
We cut to Brooklyn of 1973 (should we believe that the movie is set in 1993 and abide by its vague placement of "20 years ago") where a woman makes her way to the doorstep of a church, a wrapped bundle in her arms. This isn't a tradtional baby in a cot, however, but a bizarre, metallic egg-shaped case, which she places a shard into the top to unlock, apparently. She vamooses before a nun opens the door and takes the case inside.
The woman who left it there makes her way to a busy Brooklyn street and climbs down a manhole, returning down a long passageway and into a dank chamber, only to be approached from behind by a tall and menacing individual - Koopa! He demands to knock the whereabouts of "the rock," but she refuses to cooperate and knocks down a wooden beam, resulting in the chamber collapsing down on her. Whether she actually intended that or if it was just a booboo isn't really stated.
Meanwhile, the nuns are understandably baffled by the device, and are surprised to see the case open by itself, folding apart to reveal a large, melon-sized egg inside. And inside that egg?
It's a widdle baby! A nun eyes the
mysterious rock fragment, cluing us into what's going to be plot relevant.
We cut to "Brooklyn, now" (ever heard of the term "present day," guys?) in the office of the Mario Brothers Plumbing. Mario is taking a call about a broken dishwasher in a café while Luigi is watching a show titled Miraculous World, where a sewer worker is being interviewed about how he was in a parallel dimension. Mario disregards it as poppycock - why should he care about such nonsense when they're barely making ends meet each week? He complains about Luigi buying newspapers featuring ridiculous stories about missing women and other supernatural mishaps, but the younger brother argues that this stuff could happen, he's just got to believe. Mario believes - he believes the rent is three months overdue.
As they head out to the call, Luigi disregards Mario's directions in favour of kooky alleyways and other inconvenient paths, believing he's just got a belief that this'll get them there quicker. He's right about this, but Mario merely looks at it in a pessimistic view, only relieved that they survived the ordeal. However, it was all for naught - the Scapelli Construction Plumbing crew beat them to the job. Fiends!
Elsewhere, university students have cancelled a construction job so they can search for dinosaur bones, and Anthony Scapelli arrives on the scene to take care of things. He queries the leader of this excavation project, Daisy about how long it'll take, and she claims it'll last only as long as they're allowed by the court order, but apparently Scapelli's crew have been harassing them to finish up sooner. Proving himself to be quite a jerk, he threatens her to finish by tonight and makes mention of the disappearing women in Brooklyn, suggesting her to be careful. She excuses herself so she can talk things over with the university over the phone, leaving Scapelli alone at the site. Uh oh~!
Near the site, two suspicious individuals chow down on hot dogs and and take particular notice of Daisy. These two thugs, Iggy and Spike, are in cahoots with Koopa and been ordered to kidnap her, so they follow her into the city and Spike tries to grab her, only to be foiled by workmen moving a sheet of glass. The Mario brothers' van breaks down, the radiator having cooked its goose; Mario goes looking for water while Luigi gets on the phone to see if they've got any work, only for Daisy to arrive and find it being used. Being a love struck gentleman, Luigi lets her use the phone, despite having a call about some serious flooding issues.
While Mario complains about the price of bottled water, Luigi offers Daisy some change for the phone and admires her from a distance while she struggles to request more security at the excavation site. Having no luck, Daisy thanks Luigi for the money and in attempt to win her over, Luigi offers her a ride back to the site, the van now fixed. Seeing that Iggy is waiting for her and attempting to appear inconspicuous, she accepts. Luigi then asks her out on a date, continuing to completely blunder his lines, but she likes the thought and agrees to meet him tonight.
At the dinner, Mario and his chum
along, where we're treated to a little exposition - Daisy has proof that the
excavation is roughly where the meteorite that killed all the dinosaurs crashed,
and she reveals her stone fragment necklace is the only possession she had when
was found at a church. That downer topic is promptly forgotten when Luigi offers
to walk her home afterwards!
Mario and Daniella take the van home, though Iggy and Spike are waiting, believing her to be Daisy in disguise and give chase, abducting her after she's left at her home.
Meanwhile, Luigi and Daisy hit it off due to their own beliefs that they're weird, Daisy because she's a total dinosaur nerd and Luigi because he's completely socially incompetent. Being fascinated by her work, Luigi is taken to the site and shown the bones, being told some appear to be entirely new species with bizarre bone formations and opposable thumbs, Daisy commenting that "it's almost as if it was a monster trying to be a human being." The two try to share a tender kiss...
Only for a water pipe to start violently leaking as two of Scapelli's plumbers flee the scene. Without security it's no surprise they're unprotected from this sort of assholery, and after realising that Luigi is completely useless at legitimate plumbing, they fetch Mario and haul him back to fix the pipes. Iggy and Spike are prowling the tunnel, worried that they've gotten the wrong location again, worried that Koopa's going to kill them for their incompetence. "He's not gonna kill us, he's not that nice."
The brothers successfully fix the pipes through the power of teamwork, commenting that the Scapelli crew are only amateurs, but without so much as a yelp, Spike and Iggy enter the room and blatter them unconscious, taking off with Daisy. They hear her cries for help and they set off to find her, making their way down a craggily path while Mario complains that they should turn back.
The ledge narrows down drastically with a severe drop beneath them, but Daisy's echoes are still very clear. Just as they think they've gone the wrong way, the wall shimmers and Daisy's face appears, continuing to cry out Luigi's name. Daisy stretches far through the wall as Luigi tries to grab her, but only pulls off her rock fragment necklace before she's pulled back into the wall. The two are pretty astounded by the visage, to say the least. Despite Mario having no qualms that he saw it, he notes that she was seen in solid rock, surely there is no way that can be a portal to a parallel dimension, right?
Well I'll be damned.
Mario is shocked that not only has his younger brother vanished, but he did so by jumping through a wall of solid rock. Surely after seeing a woman's face visible on it and his brother leaping straight through it, it's still just nonsense! He tries to reach a finger out to it just to test the waters, but after one attempt too many, loses his footing and falls through.
Mario stumbles onto solid ground next to Luigi, neither of them any worse for wear, but Mario has no time to puzzle over what happened and if he'd disintegrated or what - Daisy's being taken away! They follow them out of a doorway and into a bustling, crowded city, but a wire fence blocks them from tracking the Koopalings any further. They use an overpass to try and keep Daisy in their sights, but she's gone by now, and their absurd surroundings are now what grabs their attention.
"Where the hell are we? This is crazy! We went under the river, but we-- this can't be Manhattan! Where is this place?"
"I don't know, I haven't been to Manhattan in a couple o' weeks."
"Must've been a bad couple of weeks!"
If only they knew where they really were. Mwa ha ha~!
If you're looking at this without reading the text and constantly thinking, "I see a moustache, but how is this a Mario movie?" You're not alone. No, they won't be getting their distinctive costumes anytime soon; that's practically two thirds of the movie away!
No, Daisy isn't a princess. You could whine about why she isn't called Peach, but since that name wasn't part of the Western canon at the time it's pretty understandable (plus I don't think a church would name a child after a fruit, honestly), and it's not like Toadstool is a very attractive name.
The mysterious new version of Manhattan features a few Mario enemy namedrops, such as Thwomp and Bullet Bills. We'll be seeing more as we go along!