Space Jam: A New Legacy

Space Jam: A New Legacy ½

There are so many horrible fucking things to hate about this movie's second half, it could break your body and soul to try to focus on all of them. So I am fixating obsessively on one tiny little stupid detail: the nun from Ken Russell's The Devils gets a whole lot of screentime, standing as she is right behind Don Cheadle. So basically every single time the film cuts to him, we see her waving her arms and cheering madly, like every other extra in the thrice-damned crowd, who have clearly just been told "act enthusiastic". And it's just, my God, fuck you Warners, leveraging The Devils as one of your "brands" - really just making a big ol' show of it, practically rubbing our noses in it - when you can't even be bothered to release the 50-year-old film in an uncut version or release any cut on DVD (let alone Blu-ray). How god damn dare you, you shameless assholes.

Anyway, the film. Part of me wants to say, well, the first half is merely quite bad, but no worse than the 1996 Space Jam; Looney Tunesified LeBron James looks fun, and Bugs Bunny is the only character whose voice was "off" enough for me to feel like I was having a stroke. The montage where they visit Harry Potter and Austin Powers and DC and The Matrix and (you filthy pig-fucking sons of bitches) Casablanca goes by fast enough that you can grit your teeth through it - like getting a band-aid ripped off, I might say, thought it goes a little deeper. Once I had a tube removed from my left lung, and I had to hold my breath as the nurse steadily drew it out, slowly enough that I could chart its entire course through my abdomen . It's sort of more like that.

And really, if I were thinking in those terms, and letting my sober brain do all the deciding, it's probably a full one-star movie. But Christ, what then would justify a half-star? The film's second half is brutal, a cynical marathon of brand-cataloguing that makes the most shameless Disney pandering look almost clever and refined, on top of CGI remodels that make the Looney Tunes characters look so despicably gross that they even comment on it. And once that ugly shift happens, it's a full 50 minutes of the most mind-numbing droning pseudo-basketball action, so mangled under a thick sheen of CGI that it hardly resembles a real-life sport, nor does it justify humiliating a real-life celebrity athlete by forcing him to halfheartedly pantomime the game while subjecting us to his best attempts at acting (he is, at least, far better than Michael Jordan was). Actively hostile to art, to cinema history, to human dignity. Left me too depressed to even feel hate.

(Full review at Alternate Ending)

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