The Illuminerdi reviews Space Jam: A New Legacy aka Advertisement: The Movie.
The original Space Jam is a beloved classic and fan favorite. Therefore there definitely was excitement when Space Jam: A New Legacy was announced. This time it stars basketball star LeBron James instead of Michael Jordan. However, the film is more of an 2-hour long advertisement for other Warner Bros properties, rather than being an actual film.
Without giving too much away, LeBron James and his son Dom, played by Cedric Joe, are teleported into the Warner Bros. Serververse which is ruled by Don Cheadle’s Al G. Rhythm. Al “kidnaps” Dom and challenges James to a basketball game in order to save him. This brings James on a journey through the Serververse together with Bugs Bunny in order to form the best possible basketball team.
They travel to different “planets”, or Warner Bros. franchises, to bring together the old Toon Squad. This goes from the Looney Tunes world to Mad Max: Fury Road and many more. This takes up a good chunk of the film and just feels like Warners Bros’ attempt to copy Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. The writers put the Looney Tunes characters in some unexpected and sometimes funny situations that work well on their own, but not that well in a feature film. The entire second act feels like a collection of short films put together.
The plot therefore feels convoluted, with a ton of characters and an unfocused script. There is no balance between the Looney Tunes and the main conflict with the father-son plot, which doesn’t dive deep into the dramatic possibilities. Another problem the film faces is that it doesn’t know who its audience is. The humor goes from simple slapstick that everyone can enjoy, to the meta humor of the second act of the film where the comedy relies on the fact that audiences have seen particular Warner Bros’ franchises.
But that doesn’t mean that the comedy doesn’t totally work as I had some good laughs during the film. This is likely because of my sense of humor, rather than the actual jokes but I digress. However, somewhere in this convoluted 2-hour Warner Bros property tour is a good time to have.
It’s also worth noting that Don Cheadle delivers a solid performance. You can clearly tell that he was having a great time and I also really enjoyed some of the cameos, whether animated or actual actors. Another plus point is that the VFX do look pretty good most of the time. However, this should be a requirement with a $130 million budget and you could tell that most of that money went into the VFX department.
Space Jam: A New Legacy isn’t a great movie, but I had a great time with it and was able to enjoy the humor and the Looney characters as well as the animated Don Cheadle. It remains to be seen if this sequel will find its audience, like the first one did. At least I was reminded that Warner Bros. has some exciting properties that might be more worth checking out.
Space Jam: A New Legacy Trailer and Synopsis
Welcome to the Jam! Basketball champion and global icon LeBron James goes on an epic adventure alongside timeless Tune Bugs Bunny with the animated/live-action event “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” from director Malcolm D. Lee and an innovative filmmaking team including Ryan Coogler and Maverick Carter.
This transformational journey is a manic mashup of two worlds that reveals just how far some parents will go to connect with their kids. When LeBron and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court: a powered-up roster of professional basketball stars as you’ve never seen them before.
It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest-stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself. The ready-for-action Tunes destroy convention, supercharge their unique talents and surprise even “King” James by playing the game their own way.
Space Jam: A New Legacy is available in theaters and on HBO Max. It’s directed by Malcolm D. Lee and stars: LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe, Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza and Zendaya as the voice of Lola Bunny. What do you all think? Are you planning to watch it? Have you seen it already, if so how did you like it? Let’s discuss everything in the comments down below and on our Twitter.