‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ is Not Good — Not Even a Little Bit.

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Screenshot from the trailer for “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

By Luke Jackson, Arts Writer

 

From the corporate overlords who attempt to concoct the next movie sensation to better occupy our minds and exploit our wallets comes the “Space Jam” remake that nobody asked for. Starring “The King” LeBron James, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” is a two-hour commercial for every film franchise Warner Bros. has ever touched.

Disappointing From the Start

For real, this movie is bad. I even took it upon myself to watch the original 1996 “Space Jam” the day before I saw this hot garbage to properly compare. “A New Legacy” took the quirky, endearing, so-bad-that-it’s-good quality of “Space Jam” and slam dunked it straight into the trash.

What made the original “Space Jam” so charming was the antics of the eccentric Looney Tunes characters paired with hilariously bad acting from Michael Jordan. With a story so ridiculous, the film worked because it did not take itself or its message too seriously.

We’re not here to reminisce on what should have been left untouched, however. “A New Legacy” gives us all of the bad acting present in the original, but completely removes the hilarity.

From the very beginning, James lets us know that we are in for a wild ride. Watching the king of basketball stumble through his lines was more embarrassing than watching him lose five games to the Warriors. James’ emotional range on screen consisted of furrowed brows and monotonous tones, and not even Bugs Bunny could pull this one out of the fire.

A Cheap Ploy

Most unfortunate of all is that Bugs and the Looney Tunes favorites are sidelined in what is supposed to be their movie. The focus instead lies on James, his fictional son Dom and the extended Warner Bros. universe.

Instead of the Looney Tunes hijinks of old cartoon merriment, we see scenes of James traveling with Bugs Bunny and having run-ins with Superman, Wonder Woman, Drogon from Game of Thrones and others completely outside of the original franchise.

The novelty of seeing this smorgasbord of characters wears off almost immediately — after all, Beetlejuice, King Kong, Voldemort, The Iron Giant and more don’t pack the same punch on a corporate conveyor belt. With their appearances, the movie shows posters for upcoming Warner Brother’s films like “The Suicide Squad.” As I watched, I felt as if Warner Bros. were drunkenly screaming at me, “Hey! Remember Harry Potter? Remember Gremlins? You like them, right? Give us money!”

Even within the scope of its own fictional universe, “Space Jam: A New Legacy” is a confused mess. Is it a sequel? A remake? An odd spiritual successor? It’s not made clear where this fits into the “Space Jam” timeline. The writing is bad, the story is weak and it is very evident that this movie’s intent is simply to make money. The dollar signs in the eyes of the folks at Warner Bros. have never been more obvious. The joke is on me, though, because I still paid to see it.

The debate of who is the better basketball player, LeBron James or Michael Jordan, may continue for years to come. However, when it comes to who made the better “Space Jam” movie, Jordan is the clear champion. Better luck next time, LeBron.

 

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@__lukejackson