Screamin' Steven Reviews: Space Jam: A New Legacy

"So you want me, a talking cartoon bunny, to play with you, an NBA superstar, in a high-stakes basketball game?.... sounds familiar"

A sequel years in the making to a movie that came out 25 years ago... what could go wrong? Well, apparently a lot!

"Space Jam: A New Legacy" comes out from Warner Brothers and stars LeBron James. This movie has been in development hell for years. Originally, a sequel was planned in the late 90s with the title "Spy Jam" and was going to star Jackie Chan, but those plans fell through, eventually becoming "Looney Tunes: Back in Action" in 2003. But, the studio was still keen on making a sequel to "Space Jam". The years lingered on and we were promised a new film with LeBron James stepping in for Michael Jordan. Now, here is the where the problem begins.

The film follows LeBron James from childhood to adulthood, much like the opening to the original film, we see LeBron as a child playing basketball. It is laid out pretty early that LeBron's life revolves around basketball. Once we jump to the future, in one of the most bland opening credits you can see in a "Space Jam" movie. The original opened with Michael Jordan as a child with his father and him laying out his future and then one of the best opening credits sequences. So, do they follow up with this sequel and have an amazing opening credits sequence? Nope. So, right off the bat the movie is bland. Now, we are in the present day and we meet LeBron's son, whose name I don't even remember because this movie is so stupid, why bother learning names?

Most of the movie is LeBron telling his kid that he MUST love basketball and even though the son wants to go to video game designers camp, or something stupid like that. LeBron is a jerk throughout almost all of this movie. He clearly hates everything but basketball and he is enforcing that onto his son. Why do we like LeBron again? There is an overall villain by the name of Al G. Rhythm (so clever) played brilliantly by Don Cheadle (I'll say it right now, Don Cheadle is the BEST part of this movie). The story continues on with Al capturing LeBron James and putting him into the Looney Tunes world with a mission of gathering players for a basketball game, which will take place within his son's "NBA Jam" rip-off game. First, we see LeBron turn into a 2D animated character and we finally meet the Looney Tunes. The voices are okay at best, and for some reason they replaced Kath Soucie as the voice of Lola with Zendaya? Why? Can someone explain to me this stupid decision? They tried this in "Jetsons: The Movie" 30 years ago! Why keep the entire original cast but then throw away one of them for a celebrity voice? Really bugs me when Hollywood does this. All we wind up with is a really weird voice for the character. Soucie has voiced the character since her introduction in the original film. I love Zendaya, but she was not the right choice for Lola.

Oh, and have you ever wanted to see something forced upon the Looney Tunes against their will? Well, in this movie when the game starts all the previously 2D animated Looney Tunes characters are forced to turn into 3D versions of themselves. Why? Just because... I mean, I guess it's to have them feel like they are a part of the game or something, or maybe it was because kids can't watch 2D animation, that's just stupid! Anyway, LeBron turns back into a human and the game begins. This is such a stupid game. The rules are the video game rules, so if LeBron and the Looney Tunes haven't played the kids game (which they haven't) then how could they possibly win? This isn't a regular game of basketball. In the crowd of the game we see all of Warner Brother's properties. We see The Iron Giant, King Kong, Batman & Robin from the 60s TV series, etc. But, then we see R-rated characters like the gang from "A Clockwork Orange" and Pennywise from 2017's "IT", Batman Returns' The Penguin, etc. It's a really weird group of characters for a kids movie.

To make a long story short, LeBron and his son combine forces to defeat Al G. Rhythm (so clever) and they return to the real world. It's at this moment that LeBron realizes his son is more interested in video game designing and not basketball (even though his big creation is a basketball game). And the movie is over. 

Overall this movie is garbage. They just tried to recreate the original with LeBron James. But, the reason the original worked so well is because it was Michael Jordan. And, sorry to say it, LeBron is NOT Michael Jordan and he never will be. Furthermore, while the original film clocks in at a cool 88 minutes, this movie is 2 frickin' hours long! What kid wants to watch a 2-hour long film about the Looney Tunes and LeBron James? Hell, I wouldn't have wanted to watch the original film if it was that long too! LeBron is an awful actor, not saying Jordan was any better in the acting department, but James is bad. And I don't care about him, he is portrayed as such a jerk throughout the film, I don't care if he loses. In fact, I was kind of hoping he would lose. This film is badly written, has very stupid or questionable actions and it was unnecessary. 

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