In the years following the great Los Angeles earthquake, two orphan are raised and trained in martial arts by Satori, who also happens to be the caretaker of one half of a magic amulet. When the evil Koga Shuko finds the other half, he immediately goes on the attack to take Satori's piece and claim the power contained within the amulet. Only Satori's two boys, Billy and Jimmy, can stop Koga from reaching his goal.
Directed by: James Yukich
. Starring: Robert Patrick
, Mark Dacascos
, Scott Wolf
, Kristina Wagner
, Julia Nickson
, Alyssa Milano
, Nils Allen Stewart
, Henry Kingi
, John Asher
, Leon Russom
, Jeff Imada
, Al Leong
, Cory Milano
. Music by: Jay Ferguson
, Tolga Katas
It's obvious why the Super Mario Bros. live action movie bombed? The games themselves didn't have much of a storyline to begin with. The Super Mario games was about a fat italian midget plumber who suddenly becomes huge after eating magic mushrooms and had to rescue his princess from a monster who looks vaguely like Godzilla. Which is why they ditched the original plot and made a movie that is nothing like the material it's based on. However, the Double Dragon series, unlike Super Mario, has a believable storyline and settings that could had been converted very well into live action. Let's take a look.
Double Dragon 1 (Arcade Version): In this game, Billy & Jimmy Lee are martial arts masters out to rescue their girlfriend/student Marian from a street gang known as the Black Warriors, led by the machine gun toting Big Boss Willy and his two right men, Abobo and Jeff. Not exactly Shakepearce material, but they could have add an extra dimension to the storyline and give background details about the characters. The game itself draw heavy inspirations from Enter the Dragon, especially at the names of some of the villains (Williams, Roper, Linda and Bolo).
Double Dragon 2 - The Revenge (Famicom Version): Taking place a year after the above, in this sequel, a terrorist group has killed Marian and now Billy and Jimmy are possesed by anger to avenge her death. This sequel is more inspired from a Japanese comic book series called Hokuto no Ken (AKA Fist of the North Star). The setting is that of a semi-apocalyptic New York (as if NYC wasn't bad enough already) and featuresa horde of supernatural villains such as Burnov (a fat man who's body dissappears after dying, leaving behind his mask and clothes), the Phantom Doubles and the Shadow Warrior at the end of the game. At the end, Marian is bought back from the dead and everyone lives happilly ever after or something like that.
Double Dragon 3 - The Rosetta Stones (Famicom Version): Taking place two years after the events of Double Dragon 2, Billy & Jimmy returns home from a training mission only to meet an old fortune teller named Hiruko. Hiruko tells them that in order to proved their strength, they must go on a wild Goose chase to collect the three Rosetta Stones and solve the mystery at Egypt. They go to China, Japan and Egypt to collect the stones and they meet two unlikely allies: Chin Seimei from China and Yagyuu Ranzou from Japan. Upon going to Cleopatra's tomb, the heroes eventually realized that Hiruko took advantage of Billy and Jimmy so that she could steal the treasure at Cleopatra's tomb. Hiruko dies mysteriously and the heroes are force to fight Cleopatra's reanimated corpse. After Cleopatra is defeated, the heroes donates Cleopatra's treasure to charity and the powers of the stones is left in question. Although, it has a cheesy storyline, the game itself took place in exotic locations and the Dragons fights agaisnt several enemies such as punks, monks, ninjas and strongmen.
Return of Double Dragon - Sleeping Dragon has Awoken (or Super Double Dragon): Probably the best storyline in the series, too bad Technos forgot to program it into the game. The storyline is essentially a remake of the first game. A female cop named Marian Kelly is kidnapped by a drug cartel known as the Shadow Warriors. Billy and Jimmy engaged a war agaisnt the Shadow Warriors and it's leader, Duke, to rescue her. The storyline is very realistic (no post-apocalytip settings, no medals, no Rosetta Stones) and most of the characters has interesting backstories that are only explained in the manual. This would had been an ideal storyline to adapt into a movie, especially since it doesnt follow the previous games, but stay true to the original.
NOTE: Double Dragon V is excluded from the list since it's not a true Double Dragon game and was made by Tradewest and not Technos Japan. Same thing with Battletoads & Double Dragon. Plus both games sucks.
Sadly, Paul Dini and Jim Yukich decided to ditch the storyline behind all the games and made some cheesy Power Rangers-ripoff about two idiots played by Scott Wolf and Mark Dascacos trying to save the world from some evil businessman named Koga Shuko by trying to find some cheesy medal called the Double Dragon. They team up with the film's good gang called the Power Corps, a group of hippies and clowns led by a tomboyish Alyssa Milano, and they get chased by several gangs including Clowns, mailmens and zombie basketball players. Eventually, Scott and Mark gets the medal, which allows them to change into their "Game" suits (they still don't look anything like the real deal) and they beat Shuko up. Eventually, Shuko is arrested and the main characters dies a horrible and painful death after Bo Abobo crashes their Dragon Wagon (not really, but I wished it was true).
A really horrible movie that insults fans of the Double Dragon series. What could had been a decent martial arts flick turn out to be a total train wreck that was made to torture little kids. I watched this movie when I was younger and I hated it. Avoid it like the plague.
Review by Trevor-12 from the Internet Movie Database.