I don’t know if you’ve broken out your old Nintendo and played a little Super Mario Bros 3 recently, but I turned mine on the other day and was completely shocked. I wasn’t shocked at the graphics or gameplay, but rather the storyline. It’s almost the exact same plot as the Liam Neeson smash hit Taken. Let me prove it.
1. Both Stories Revolve Around a Man Trying to Recover a Kidnapped Girl
Taken: Liam Neeson let’s his daughter go to Europe with her “I Look Like I’ll Soon Be On 16 & Pregnant” friend Amanda. You would assume the first thing he told his daughter was, “Hey don’t get in the car with a stranger.” She gets kidnapped and Neeson has to go rescue her.
Mario: After being kidnapped multiple times in the past, somehow the Princess winds up in the arms of Bowser once again. Mario finds out about it and forces his brother to go help him rescue her. What did Luigi do after she was recovered? Did he just walk home in the rain while Mario and Peach dry humped?
2. Both Men Have a Particular Set of Skills
Taken: He has a set of skills used to locate and break the neck of anyone he wants.
Mario: He claims to be a plumber, but clearly that isn’t his main skill. Like Neeson, Mario can track and crack with the best of them.
3. Our Heroes Have to Travel to a Foreign Country in Search of the Kidnapped Girl
Taken: He ends up leaving his home and going to Europe to try and find his daughter and rescue her from heartless abductors.
Mario: He has the exact same experience as in Taken, except instead of Europe he travels to lands full of giant mushrooms and magical plants. Ok that may also be Europe, now that I think about it.
4. Both Men Have to Kill a Series of Brothers Before Finding the Missing Girl
Taken: Liam Neeson (I know that his character’s name is Bryan Mills, but I like to think it’s actually just Liam Neeson not in character going around and taking out these villains) pulls a Drake and starts from the bottom. He goes through all the Markos from Tropoja and kills them one by one in the pursuit for his missing daughter.
Mario: Mario sends a message to Bowser by systematically murdering each of his sons. He starts with Larry Koopa, who I’m sure Bowser didn’t have much confidence in since he named him Larry, then works through each world killing each sibling, from Iggy Koopa to Ludwig von Koopa. They all taste the vengeance of death as Mario pursues his missing girlfriend. Are they dating? It’s never directly addressed, but I have a feeling she doesn’t like labels.
5. Both of Them Try to Impress the Girl Through Music
Taken: Liam Neeson has huge competition to impress his daughter because her new step dad is loaded and bought her a freaking pony for her birthday. Liam walks in with a karaoke machine from a Radio Shack outlet. Later he steps up his game and wins her love by introducing her to a famous singer he saved from being murdered. Even Stevens!
Mario: In order to skip large parts of his quest to rescue his royal lover, Mario plays a sick little tune on a flute and uses it to get closer to his bae. I would like to formally apologize for using the word “bae” and rest assure that it will never happen again.
6. Both Men Infiltrate Enemy Bases Only to Find One of Their Girl’s Friends Being Held Captive Instead
Taken: Liam Neeson busts into a sex trafficking house and kills all the bad guys only to discover his daughter is being held in a different location.
Mario: He storms castle after castle leaving corpses in his wake only to discover his princess is being held in a different location.
7. Neither of Them Ride a Magical Dinosaur to Help Them on Their Quest
Mario: In Super Mario World, Mario starts taking advantage of the fact that a magical dinosaur can be hatched from an egg and help him defeat his enemies. But not in Mario 3!
Taken: I’m assuming Taken 4 or 5 will finally explore the relationship between Liam Neeson and a dinosaur counterpart that help him rescue kidnapped females.
8. Both Heroes Use Auctions or Games to Help Tracked Down Their Loved One
Taken: Liam Neeson goes to a party that turns out to be a front for an auction. An eBay auction? An auction of sports memorabilia? No. It’s an auction of girls. He uses this to track down his daughter and find her location.
Mario: Mario didn’t find Peach being auctioned off into sex work, but he did use this game to help him have a better chance of locating her:
9. The Final Battle for Both Heroes Is with a Fat Monster
Taken: After locating his daughter on a giant ship, he has to defeat one last fat monster in order to rescue her:
Mario: After locating Peach on some kind of flying boat apparatus, he has to fight one last fat monster in order to rescue her:
10. They Need to Increase Security Around Their Loved Ones
Seriously guys, how is there a sequel to either of your stories? I feel like one kidnapping would be enough to invest in some GPS locators and an advanced home security system. Maybe just put one of those home security signs in your yards and that would keep the baddies away? Or tell the ladies to carry around a can of mace or two? I don’t know, but anything has to be better than what you guys are doing now.
Rob is a writer and comedian based in Louisville, KY. Follow @robfee on Twitter.