Michael Stevens joins us this week for his first of hopefully many Fake Movie Fridays. Enjoy!
Fake Movie Friday: Michael Bay Presents:
Return to the Mushroom Kingdom. Luigi’s Kingdom.
So videogame movies suck right?
Michael Bay really wants to make a movie based on The Super Mario Brothers but is waaay too busy with Ninja Turtles so he swallows his pride and decides that he wants to produce. He really wants to tell a character based story about brothers. This franchise is gonna be his Batman Begins series. He calls Robert Zemekis, who stresses motion capture and Bay is all “FUCK THAT,” because “its scary” and he won’t get to have any explosions.
After he hangs up, he decides to call Nolan himself, because “that guy’s awesome.” At first, Nolan is understandably irked but then interested at the prospect of doing a highly visual Baz Luhrmann/Zack Snyder-esque spectacular. “Well…you know I’ve never done a children’s movie.”
So from there Nolan take over as director and works on the first draft of the script (Written by Orci and Kurtzmann) with Dave Eggers. Nolan prank calls Spike Jonze who “really had a hard on for this movie.” Nolan and Eggers create a script that downplays much of the action and sci-fi. Instead what they have written is a beautiful, visual, elegiac, and masterful modern epic fairytale about loss. The story isn’t what anyone in Hollywood was expecting because it’s ACTUALLY good and thought provoking…and for children. Wes Anderson was beside himself with shit and tears after reading it. It’s like Howl’s Moving Castle, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars…with a little bit of The Fifth Element thrown in. In the world of Fake Movie Friday’s, we might have a happy ending…or so it seems.
Halfway through filming, Nolan leaves due to artistic differences with the producer, who isn’t seeing enough “stuff” happen. According to Bay, the first half of the movie is “just a whole lot of people talking in British accents ( You know that accent that everyone uses in generally “far away lands” or “ancient times.” See A New Hope and listen to Leia. You’ll get it.). It’s justa lot of talking and explaining. IT’S SO SLOW. AND THERE’S NO JOKES.” Nolan leaves and asks to be credited as Alan Smithee.
Bay hires Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) to finish the second half. Don’t get me wrong–Tron was good. Bay just needs someone he can push around. Who better than a nice guy fourth-time director. Needless to say, while the first half of this film is a sleeper masterpiece, the second half is okay.
Luigi: Joseph Gordon-Levitt was chosen from a shortlist that included Emile Hirsch, James Franco and Josh Hutcherson. JGL just really loved the game I guess. Must love bikes alot too, to be in a shit burger like Premium Rush. Shia LeBouf has not picked up Bay’s phone calls.
Princess Peach: Olivia Wilde. Who else.
Daisy: Who’s a black girl? Hmmm…Zoe Zaldana. Yeah. Daisy is a lesbian and totally not into Luigi. They wanted to be liberal with casting and show that “race doesn’t matter at the end of days” so they threw her into the bit and uber-liberal part. She has a couple of cool fight scene alongside her sister.
Toad: Peach’s servant/protector. He’s like a crazy old uncle. Very slow in life. Very quick in battle. Andy Serkis with motion capture.
Yoshi: Donald Glover. His first dramatic role. They needed a another black person. Instead of being a ride, Yoshi is a mutant (he’s been affected by the Mushroom Kingdom’s Spores). He is also the go-to magical negro who was Mario’s oldest friend and always had access to some kind of Dragon shaped Mechas. (Yeah they just had to allude to the videogame).
Mario: Most of Christian Bale’s scenes had to be reshot when he left with Nolan. Taylor Kitsch took over the role…
Captain Bowser Koopa: Tom Hardy…really he’s just Bane and Hitler. Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta lobbied hard for the part.
Donkey Kong: Dwayne Johnson. He’s not an ape. Instead he’s an unusually strong and agile human. Donkey Kong is a nickname for some stupid time he got drunk and rode a donkey naked while quoting Training Day. (This is Bay’s doing. The back story sucks and how would they have even seen Training Day in the parallel dimension. I HATE REFERENCES THAT COME FROM NOWHERE). DK is a former cage fighter who owns a pub in the Mushroom Kingdom called “The Barrel.” (Get it?!) Anyhow “The Barrel” does pretty well and is home to “King of Swing Melee” Cage Battles. Visitors from far off lands/realms/what-have-you brawl here as “Smash Brothers.”
Goombas: Low life thugs. CGI (and kind of racist). Danny Devito cameos.
Koopa’s “Troops”: Bowser’s master race. Nolan modeled them after Nazi’s. Bay made them Nazi’s. Complete with unexplainable German accents. (Bowser does not have one). Motion capture performance by Ray Park, voiced by Tom Kenny.
Shy Guys: Terrorists and masked assassins. They’re fucking scary. Doug Jones.
Lana Del Rey’s Videogames is playing in black. Fade up from black to a camera going (up?) through a dark tunnel real slowly. Jump cuts of kids 19 and 8 years old in respective red and green jumpsuits playing.
LUIGI: I wanna be a great plumber like my brother Mario!
MARIO: (as he’s leaving their house) I ain’t exactly just no plumber.
LUIGI: Then what are you.
MARIO: (smiling) It’s me. A Mario.
Cut to future argument between Mario and Luigi.
MARIO: I GAVE UP EVERYTHING FOR YOU!
LUIGI: YOU NEVER HAD ANYTHING TO GIVE!
Cut to Luigi walking peeking at Peach get undressed.
Cut to tunnel. The tunnel shots continue to get closer to the light. Jumpcut to awkward and tense shot of Luigi at Peach and Mario’s wedding. Cut to tunnel. Cut to a scene at Mario’s funeral holding Peach’s face with both of them crying.
LUIGI: (upset) I don’t know what to do without his shadow to stand in!
PEACH: This one is all you. Save us.
LUIGI: I ain’t got nothing to save anyone with. (she grabs his hand and sobs)
PEACH: I’m right here.
Fade to tunnel. The camera makes it to the top or the tunnel and look out. Panoramic shot of a decaying post apocalyptic fairytale kingdom. It goes all the way around back to Luigi (We were seeing through Luigi’s POV). Luigi lights a cigarette and takes a drag.
VO LUIGI: You know. Back when this was all just a couple-a-guys beaten’ jerks up wit’ tools…it was all like that stuff from fairytales. Knights in shinin’ armor. Death was never part of the game.
Luigi drops the cigarette. Slow mo Shy Guys were in the sky looking at him the whole time. He takes out a wrench and throws it (no effect) He then takes out a shotgun and unleashes a built-in flame thrower…
VO LUIGI: Well this ain’t no fairytale. This ain’t no videogame.
In slowmo Luigi picks up his cigarette and turns around as slo-mo Shy Guys fall from the sky in green flames.
VO LUIGI: I’m back. It’s me. Luigi… and I’m taking this town back.
Luigi’s Kingdom. COMING SOON.
The plot is incidental. Mario is “dead” from the beginning of the movie. His story is told in flashbacks and Journal entries from a book that Luigi finds. Luigi is conflicted between his guilt about his older brother’s death and his love for Princess Peach. Princess is just a nickname these days. Bowser rules the Mushroom Kingdom (Tom’s doing his Bane Thing). Bowser is basically mutant Hitler (see cast notes). He’s driven the humans and “inferior races” underground. He’s battled with “The Plumbers” for years. The Plumbers were Mario, Luigi and associates. In the Golden Age they were nicknamed the Plumbers because they got rid of all the shit in the Mushroom Kingdom. After years of war and violence, The Mushroom Kingdom is a post-apocalyptic landscape. Peach has been driven out of the kingdom goes underground, estranged from her throne with her loyal servant Toad. She now works as a bartender/performer at The Barrel. This scene has lots of discreet nintendo cameos. Luigi gets in the cage for a match against a character (played by Jack Gleeson) who is arguably Link. (This is an obvious set up for a Smash Bros Franchise.) At some point there’s a threat and Luigi comes to The Barrel where he and DK kick ass and decide that the town needs to be taken back. DK is a total scene stealer with Toad being the comic relief. Much of what we see earlier in the film is Nolan-y explanations of the Mushroom Kingdom political state and the science of the world we took for granted in the video games. Nolan’s shots incorporate incredible side scrolling shots with some kind of wonder camera. But I digress. Luigi, Peach, Toad and DK decide to go to the main castle to fight Bowser so they gather the rest of the team. (Few old friends have survived, but Yoshi and the ones we like are still alive. Spolier alert, Toad gets killed protecting Peach) Oh and they’ll also need Mechas. ( Mechas were added by Nolan, Mushrooms were used as a drug in the story that enhance size and strength. The Plumber were once addicts. Bowser is an addict. The Mushrooms come at the price of horrible dehumanizing side-effects. Mechas were added as a way to incorporate some of the fantastical elements of the videogame as well as an anime influence. The Wachowski Bros. would love this.)
At some point we have the Michael Bay “Armageddon-Avengers-Assemble Shot.” There’s a battle. Yay. There’s a death. Sad. There’s a kiss between Luigi and Peach. There’s a-MARIO!!! BACK FROM THE DEAD. EMERGING FROM THE SHADOWS…or a pipe where Bowser has been keeping him. It was a torture thing. Mario knows all about Luigi and Peach and he forgives his brother. Him and Peach are totes over, but long story short Mario beats the shit out of Bowser in a Neo vs. Smith level battle. He wins. Surprise. Afterwards Luigi wants to celebrate with his big bro. “We saved the Kingdom.” But Mario is all dark and broody and wants no part of the joy. He’s back from the dead, but HE’S BEEN TORTURED FOR LIKE A LONG TIME. He probably didn’t get any sleep for like seven years. Oh, and his little brother is fucking his wife so that’s a bitter pill to swallow. Mario decides to leave and protect from afar (Transformers much) and assemble a bigger team of allies (Smash Bros. Sequel because Bowser totally isn’t dead…he probs killed a clone or a double or SOME shit.). So they say goodbye and Luigi finally lets go of his little brother. Sad. Mario flies away in his mecha, only to return in the next movie with more screentime. Yoshi follows in his dragon mecha. Oh yeah, the king and queen (where’d they come from? IT’S A MONARCHY.) were killed at some point .(what business did Peach have ruling the kingdom in the videogame as a PRINCESS.) so now she’s the queen. Which would make Luigi the king, if he didn’t also skip out on her marriage proposal. “I ain’t no king. I’m just a plumber from Brooklyn. This ain’t my home.” IRONIC TITLE. IT’S NOT HIS KINGDOM. DEEP.
PEACH: What’re you gonna do?
LUIGI: (in JGL fashion) me? Oh me…nah. I’ll be fine. I’m gonna come back. But my brother can’t do this alone. And I wanna be great…like him.
PEACH: So where are you going.
LUIGI: I dunno.
Luigi walks away. He walks up to DK who agrees to leave with him. Cue Nolan style ending with a subtle reference to Pokemon. The world is bigger than they thought it was. Oh yeah the planet is probably called Nintendo or some dumb shit. (And the sequel will be a prequel explaining how the Bros. made it from Brooklyn to halfway across the universe. John Carter please.)
DK: You ready?
LUIGI: (smiling) Let’s-a go.
Pan up to the skies that are filled with color and rainbows and stars and mystery. Cue Linkin Park.