Space Jam: A New Legacy

This is one of the worst products I’ve seen, and I call it a product instead of a movie because it serves as less of a narrative film and more of a corporate ad for other products Warner Bros. Has on offer.

Space Jam follows NBA superstar LeBron James and his fictional son Dom played by Cedric Joe. Dom wants to make video games, but LeBron wants him to buckle down and practice basketball. When LeBron criticizes an computer algorithm’s idea, that computer algorithm, played by Don Cheadle, abducts LeBron and Dom and forces them to play basketball to determine the fate of humanity.

It is such a stupid plot. I mean seriously, this is insultingly dumb. But it’s a kids movie. I’m going to look at it as a kid might look at it. Would this have entertained ten year old me?

It would not have entertained me, but it would have distracted me. There are so many flashing lights, kinetic movement, and chaotic edits that it would have held my attention for its full runtime.

The problems with the movie would have been apparent to me even as a kid. The biggest problem being that the movie is overstuffed to the point that it becomes just a melange of color and noise. No element stands out. It’s just a blur.

And it’s a blur to the point that the Looney Tunes, the charming hilarious characters that I grew up on, the reason I turned on this movie in the first place, they end up as little more than background noise. They are stripped of their personalities and characteristics. Bugs Bunny isn’t a wise cracking scamp. He’s just a generic animated bunny. Daffy Duck is sidelined. Granny is changed into a Kung fu Matrix ripoff, and Tasmanian Devil isn’t even in the movie! Even if he is, his appearance is so brief that he doesn’t make an impact.

The father son dynamic is generic and predictable. And LeBron James is terrible in this movie. Even ten year old me would have cringed hard at his performance. Which is a shame because he can be really good. He’s fantastic in Trainwreck, but here he sounds like a robot trying to mimic human speech and emotion.

The story takes a break about thirty minutes in for an extended Warner Bros. Commercial. LeBron and Bugs travel the Warner-verse to assemble a basketball team. This really just amounts to a series of cameos from various intellectual properties that Warner’s happens to own like Harry Potter, Batman, Superman, Game if Thrones, and The Matrix. These aren’t funny. They’re just there to play a big game of “remember this?” it’s cynically playing on our nostalgia in order to trick us into thinking we’re having a good time.

Now, ten year old me would have really enjoyed seeing Daffy Duck dressed as Superman, but ten year old me wouldn’t have understood Grannie in the Matrix. The Matrix is a 22 year old R rated film, how many kids today are going to understand the parody? It’s not a clever enough parody to entertain the adults and it’s such an old reference that it plays about as well as curdled milk. The whole movie feels this way. It’s not made for kids, but it’s not good enough to entertain adults. They’re just hoping nostalgia will carry them through.

I’ve gone on long enough. If it’s not clear this thing is crap. It’s total garbage. Don’t waste your time on it. Don’t waste your kids brain power with it. It’s a soulless cynical attempt to forklift the money out of your wallet.

Don’t watch this. It’s not my cup of tea. F

The fact that Don Cheadle is in this crap a few weeks after No Sudden move is a scathing indictment of how Hollywood works. A good movie gets quietly dumped on a streaming service, while this piece of crap gets a billion dollar ad campaign. Poor Don Cheadle has to walk the line between both.

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