So I’m back reviewing another blockbuster movie and this one is called Space Jam: A New Legacy. I’ve previously expressed my thoughts on Space Jam and it’s sequel Looney Tunes: Back in Action, so let just say I was curious to see how this new film would play out. I’ve seen it now and I’m stoked to share with you my review for Space Jam: A New Legacy.
First up, this film is bad, but it’s also a grand achievement in cinema. This might be one of the most unintentionally funny awful big budgeted movies I’ve ever seen at the cinema. Not even Fast and the Furious 9 was as shameless as Space Jam: A New Legacy. (God, the title even says it all!) Just hear me out whilst I explain my strange infatuation with this movie.
The premise of Space Jam 2 is pretty much the same as the first movie except they replace real life basketballer Michael Jordan with LeBron James who this time doesn’t play basketball against alien monsters, but instead enters the Matrix to play against an A.I. and his video game cronies. (Did you like my really lame Matrix pun? If you watch the actual movie you’ll hear about four of them.) This movie mainly takes place inside the Warner Bros 3000 Server-verse. (That’s the actual name they came up with.) This “server-verse” provided a really good learning opportunity to see all the major movie and TV show properties that Warner Bros own besides the Looney Tunes. There are some big ones which I’m sure the kiddies will recognise like Harry Potter and the DC movies. Then there are the more peculiar ones which you may not expect or want to see pop up in a children’s movie, like Game of Thrones, It and even A Clockwork Orange to name a few. Don’t worry parents, other than the parts in the movie where LeBron and Bugs invade scenes from famous movies, like Mad Max: Fury Road, Austin Powers and Casablanca, most of the adult stuff is very much in the background. For example most of the references you’ll find in this movie are saved towards the end in the big Ready Player One type moment where numbers of beloved recognisable characters are all mindlessly cheering on one of the teams. Oh yeah, speaking of Ready Player One, King Kong and The Iron Giant were at the game too.
The main source of comedy for me was easily how horrendously bad the jokes are. The majority of the jokes consist of ‘Hey, I recognise that popular thing so seeing that in this movie automatically makes it funny‘. That’s very true movie, because I was laughing at your jokes! Also the ridiculous plot was hilariously incompetent. It’s filled with things that make no sense, and the movie relies heavily on cartoon logic as a tool to hide all inconsistencies in this lazily put together script. That reminds me, I want to mention the amazingly overdone father-and-son-can’t-bond subplot with LeBron James and his video game making genius son. These characters are so dumb and the acting from LeBron and the kid are so bad and unconvincing that I love it! I also love that this 12 year kid who can make a high quality online basketball game in his bedroom still easily falls for the very obvious manipulation from this rogue A.I. Let’s talk about the A.I, who is the main villain of the movie, played by Don Cheadle and this character’s name is Al G. Rhythm. It sounds like a really lame rapper name, but it doesn’t matter because Don Cheadle as Al G Rhythm is unironically the best part of this movie. His character is complete trash, but I absolutely respect Cheadle for just going with it, and not giving a flying space jam! (My love for this movie has corrupted my writing, I need help!)
I should probably mention The Looney Tunes right? They’re wacky and tell terrible jokes. I enjoyed seeing them in the classic 2D animated style, but was even more wowed by how abominable they looked in CGI form. I don’t have that much to say on them except Zendaya voicing Lola Bunny feels awfully out of place alongside the professional voice cast, but at least the character she plays isn’t hot anymore. One last thought, if I have to be critical for a moment, the basketball portion of the movie I did find a bit of a drag because besides the comedy, this is the part in the film where it’s suddenly super serious with actual stakes. This might only be a me thing because I don’t like sports and I didn’t sign on for actual stakes in my silly kids movie. Perhaps on a rewatch this problem won’t exist.
That’s pretty much it as I did not expect to like Space Jam: A New Legacy as much as I did. It really is a Sharkboy and Lavagirl type of phenomenon for me where somehow this movie hit the bullseye perfectly on what type of comedy I absolutely love from terrible movies such as this. Once this is available on Blu-ray I’m definitely going to have to re-evaluate this alongside the first Space Jam to see which one holds up the best in my mind and is the true best movie. For now, and just for the hell of it, I’m going to give Space Jam: A New Legacy the first ever Get out of Failure Free card, because I’ve always wanted an opportunity to hand out this award and it might convince some of you to actually see it. In case you need a reminder of what this award is, it basically means the movie is bad, but it’s entertaining enough to not earn itself an Epic Fail seal. That’s it from The Blog Complainer, signing out.