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Space Jam: A New Legacy

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3 hours ago, Cap said:


OMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGG I know that was my favorite part of the movie!

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Caught this on HBO Max this morning. It was super weird watching a movie at home hours before its first theatrical screening locally.


The original Space Jam may not be nearly as good as millennials remember from watching it as kids, but it’s still miles better than this long-gestating sequel. A LeBron James-headlined Space Jam sequel seemed inevitable for quite some time, and James’s charisma in past ads and impressive comedic chops in Trainwreck made it seem like something that might just work with the right combination of elements. What we get with A New Legacy, however, is a messy, frequently eyeroll-inducing affair that feels less like a basketball/Looney Tunes crossover than a soulless corporate product more interested in lazy IP references than in using the talents or appeal of James or the Tunes. Ironically, the film’s decision to let the classic Looney Tunes characters interact with other Warner Bros properties (in some truly bizarre moments I don’t think anyone in any demographic was really clamoring for) does not expand their reach, but rather hems them in by simply making them part of corporate synergy and fodder for lame referential humor. There are some mildly amusing moments in the big game, but it’s so obnoxious and over-stimulated that many of the characters’ signature antics don’t really get the space to land. James gives a game effort and seems less wooden than Michael Jordan in the original, but the script saddles him with a trite arc that limits his charm and charisma; unlike the first film, which at least *got* the aura around Jordan and was content with just letting him exist as an extension of his public persona (probably out of recognition of his limited acting range), this one transforms James from a generational basketball talent to the “loving but busy dad who needs to learn to have more fun with his kids” stock character. And then there’s Don Cheadle, who in characteristic Don Cheadle fashion, really goes for it as the film’s antagonist, Al G. Rhythm (three guesses what he’s supposed to be); the problem is that his choices consistently make the character more grating than intimidating. By the time the film exhausts its nearly two-hour running time, there’s a sense that the filmmakers never really got to the heart of what this film was supposed to be, so they just threw everything they had at the wall and hoped it would stick; alas, it largely doesn’t, and it squanders a premise that could have been fun with the proper level of care and attention. 



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