The Wizard is one of the few major Hollywood films which have focused on gaming. I was only 10 when the film came out. I loved the film when I was young but 20 years on, I must admit that it’s not a great film. I do kind of love it though in a strange, cheesy, nostalgic kind of way.
The story centres around a kid called Jimmy (played by Luke Edwards), who has had mental problems ever since his twin sister died in a river accident. He is put in an institution but his brother Corey (played by Wonder Years star Fred Savage) breaks him out and they head towards California.
Along the way they find out Jimmy is video games master. A girl called Haley informs them about a video game competition in Los Angeles so they all go there.
On the way there, they meet Jimmys main rival in the competition, Lucas. Most people remember this scene as Lucas puts on the infamous Power Glove saying the immortal words ‘I love the Power Glove. It’s so bad!’.
The Wizard gave Western audiences the first glimpse of Super Mario Bros 3, which hadn’t even been released yet. The game was played in the final of the competition and helped the game become one of the best selling games of all time.
Beau Bridges also stars as Jimmys Father and Christian Slater plays his other half brother.
The film is essentially one long advertisement for Nintendo and Universal (who bankrolled the film). However, the film remains a cult classic amongst gaming fans who grew up in the 80s.
I’m actually surprised that games companies haven’t funded a film like this since then. The film only made a small profit but it helped push the sales of Super Mario Bros 3, which sold more than 18 million copies worldwide. Sure, it was a much anticipated Mario sequel and would have sold millions anyway but the film helped generate much more hype.
What do you think of The Wizard?