‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ is Not Worth the Time

Written by Blair Miller, Reporter

  “Space Jam: A New Legacy” is a live-action, animation comedy film that was released on July 16, 2021. The film is a sequel to the first film, “Space Jam,” which was released on Nov. 15, 1996. I would not recommend the new film to general audiences. The only exception where I would recommend this film would be if someone were a big fan of LeBron James and just wanted to see him in a movie. While the film has good visuals and jokes, the film has some plot issues, which can be very distracting. If a movie goer is a fan of the original Space Jam film, they are likely to not enjoy this Space Jam film.

  One of the best attributes of the second “Space Jam” was the movie’s animation. It was nice to see traditional animation and computer-generated cameos of other Warner series.

  Another positive aspect is the addition of the “Looney Tunes” cast. Their jokes were funny, and I laughed a lot while watching this movie. The cartoon references and seeing other “Looney Tunes” in other Warner Properties was nice as well.

  The biggest issue with the movie is its plot. LeBron doesn’t understand his son’s interest in video games and wants him to play basketball instead. LeBron is invited to Warner Brothers to discuss a movie deal, and he brings his son along. LeBron meets the creator of the deal, a self-aware algorithm named Al-G Rhythm, played by Don Cheadle. Al-G is a big fan of LeBron and wants him to appear in a Warner Brothers film. The film does not explain why Al-G loves LeBron so much, and I find that to be a weakness of the movie. LeBron rejects the Al-G Rhythm proposal, and as a result, AI-G Rhythm gets mad and kidnaps both of them, claiming he wants to play basketball. Al-G Rhythm sends LeBron to Looney Tunes land, where LeBron meets Bugs, who was all alone. Bugs explains that the Looney Tunes characters are scattered all over a Warner Brothers digital universe. After that, they assemble the Looney Tunes team. Whichever team loses the game will be deleted and the people acting as their audience will be trapped in the digital universe. Also, LeBron’s son designed his opponents. Al-G manipulated LeBron’s son into thinking the game was for fun and not dire.

  The other problem is that the film is longer than it needs to be. It takes half an hour until the Looney Tunes characters are shown on screen and another half an hour to finally get to the basketball game. I can understand that Warner Brothers wanted to show other Warner characters and have the Looney Tunes interact with other character worlds. However, it can be distracting.

  Another problem is that the movie was advertised as a sequel, but it also was portrayed as a stand-alone movie. A sequel typically continues where the previous story had left off. In the first movie, the Looney Tunes universe exists in the middle of the Earth. However, the second movie makes the Looney Tunes universe in a digital world. This difference makes the second Space Jam less of a sequel and more of a reimagining of the first movie.

  It does take a few plot points from the original. Both LeBron and Michael Jordan did not want the Looney Tunes to use their wackiness to win the game. However, after realizing that the professional way of playing was not working, they both have a change of heart and let the Looney Tunes use their wackiness. Embracing the silliness helps the Looney Tunes win in both movies.

  Because the setting is different from the first film and the movie does not continue the plot of the first film, I would give “Space Jam: A New Legacy” a 2.3 out of 5.