Space Jam: A New Legacy
review by Bobby Blakey
In 1996 Warner Bros. unleashed the live action animated hybrid Space Jam in theaters to massive success. The film brought together NBA icon Michael Jordan and the cast of the Looney Tunes for the ultimate sports film. Now 20 years later Warner Bros. is finally heading back into that world once again with the follow up Space Jam: A New Legacy this time bringing in a new NBA legend with Lebron James. Could this long awaited sequel bring it’s A game or will it have to forfeit?
Space Jam: A New Legacy follows basketball champion LeBron James and his young son Dom, who dreams of being a video game developer, who are trapped in a virtual space by a rogue algorithm named Al-G Rhythm. LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the Al-G's digitized champions on the court.
Part of what made the original so fun was the focus on Jordan’s career alongside the ridiculous premise that brought them all together. The story is stupid and makes no sense in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a lot of fun. This new entry doesn’t do as much of the same with James although there is some of his history initially there, but the rest of the film is pretty much the same idea with yet another dumb reason to get them all together. I say all this to point out that you have to throw a lot out the window to buy into what is going on before you can even go all in.
This time around it offers up a lot of the repeated jokes with the first half of the film actually working quite well for me. The animation looks beautiful and vibrant diving in to some quick fun montage style sets ups to get the gang back together complete with cameos of all sorts that will make you smile unless you are just overly grumpy about life. There is a lot of ranting about this just being a Warner Bros commercial and it absolutely is, but I loved that aspect. I loved
looking through the crowd and seeing all the varying characters, it was just a fun addition to the movie.
This isn’t a good movie by any means, but it is entertaining. It is also the kind of film that while there are plenty of jokes and cameos for the adults it’s the kids that are going to latch onto it with it coming off more like a fusion of the original film and Spy Kids or Shark Boy and Lava Girl. Lebron is a much better actor than Jordan and Cheadle looks to be having a blast, but the fun of this movie is the toons and the cameos.
If you are heading into a movie like this expecting anything other than cartoons, cameos and basketball then you are just delusional. With the entire franchise making no sense to why basketball would need to be involved in saving anything isn’t enough to make you let the other things go then I don’t know what to tell you. Will this one hold up as a fun classic like the original? Not for my generation, but who knows with the younger audience.
If you already think it looks bad or are one of the morons that can’t separate your “childhood” from the present day then just avoid it all together. If you can take out your brain and just get into the silliness of it all and have a good time then give it a shot. Even if you don’t like it there is no doubt something in there that will make you smile.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including deleted scenes and numerous featurettes taking you behind bringing this new chapter of the basketball playing Looney Tunes to life. Grab your copy of Space Jam: A New Legacy available now on premium digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on October 5th from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.