Updated: Feb 5
Spoilers for the movie down below.
Space Jam: A New Legacy is the long-awaited sequel to the original 1996 film, Space Jam starring Michael Jordan.
With voice talents returning to the project such as Jeff Bergman reprising his role as Bugs Bunny, Slyvester and Yosemite Sam. And new Talent like Eric Bauza voicing Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Marvin the Martian, Foghorn Leghorn and Elmer Fudd, this film definitely stands out against its predecessor.
The plot, similar to the first movie, is pretty loose and not really the main focus of the movie. We start with an opening of a young Lebron James distracted by video games and following his dream to be a basketball player. The credits roll and show Lebron’s rise to fame, then centers back on how he wants his son to be just like him.
There’s a typical squabble between the pair that inevitably separates them and causes them to meet the main antagonist of the movie, Al G. Rythm, played by Don Cheadle. Unlike the first movie with the Monstars, Al G. is shown to be a bigger threat and demands to be seen by the world for his genius and advancements in Warner Brother’s technology.
After a large exposition dump, the movie kicks off and throws Lebron into the Warner universe, eventually landing himself in Toon Town with the likes of Bugs Bunny. The movie, as it should, used a large amount of slapstick, some works, some doesn’t. It’s obvious to tell who the real voice actors are and who the featured celebrities are, which is a shame but as Lebron said in the movie, he’s a basketball player not an actor.
While Bugs explains his relevancy to the movie, the duo travel around different Warner universes until they get the whole Looney gang back.
So, one of the most marketed aspects of this movie was it’s cast, and when I say cast, I mean Zendaya. Unlike Jeff and Eric, Zendaya was heavily advertised as Lola Bunny, a controversial character to some. Yet as the movie played out, Lola barely had any lines and whatever she did say came across as just Zendaya not Lola Bunny.
The animation for this movie was amazing as far as 2D goes, it was smooth and colourful but still held lots of room for exaggerated character expressions. The 3D/CGI portions of the movie were a little strange, moments with Al G were obviously green screened. However, I will say the moment the toons become ‘real’ was nicely done, with the exception of Lola who looked like she was stung by a bee.
Another key moment in all the trailers that was really hyped up was the numerous cameos of characters from different universes. During the main sports match, you could see the likes of Pennywise, The Mask and flying monkeys all cheering on the Tune Squad. There were also a range of classic toons such as Yogi and Bobo, the Scooby gang and other classic Hanna Barbera characters.
My personal favourite, however, were the Warner brothers and their sister Dot making cameo appearances along the side-lines. Although their roles were mute and distant, I'm a sucker for anything Animaniacs.
And if we’re talking about cameos, I feel the need to mention the Rick and Morty crossover, something I never thought I’d see. With the original actor and creator, Justin Roiland, playing both Rick and Morty; it was bizarre to say the least. I only hope now there’s an offhanded comment in the new season about meeting Bugs Bunny.
Space Jam: A New Legacy is a strange movie, while the plot and human characters were much to be desired, I rather enjoyed everything toon related. I have to give the movie credit where credit is due, the lighting is amazing, the bright colours of the tune world and the oranges and purples of the Warner universe is stunning.
The comedy is that of Looney Tunes: classic slapstick, remarks of the modern era and shameless celebrity plugs. All in all, the movie has it’s great moments and its...cringy moments, I’m looking at you rapping Porky.
I’m giving Space Jam: A New Legacy 3 basket balls out of 5.