Our Crack Tongue & Groove
What fresh hell is this?
One of Bob Hoskins’ finest big-screen moments came at the end of The Long Good Friday when the Cockney gangster he is playing finally realises that he has been done up like a right kipper, and a myriad of emotions wordlessly play out across his deflating fizzog, from anger to despair to the grim acceptance of his own imminent demise. I like to imagine those same expressions unfurled across Hoskins’ face when he sat down and watched the final cut of Super Mario Bros – in which he starred alongside Dennis Hopper – for the very first time. It’s a wretched piece of work, something the press release announcing its Blu-ray release refuses to admit, even managing to contain a quote from the Washington Post that states it is “sweet and funny and full of bright invention”. (Hats off to the person who trawled through the mountain of reviews - which had the film down as a “shrill and tiresome fantasy”, “bloated muddle” and “a contender for the worst movie ever made” - to find that one nugget among the shit heap.) But it was never going to work in a millions years. How on earth could it? Did the producers really think that a film based on a game, whose central dynamic involves a plumber repeatedly jumping on the heads of turtle-like creatures, was ever going to be anything other than an unholy travesty; less a film, more a career-low showreel for everyone involved? They would have had more success turning Tetris into a radio play.