Space Jam: A New Legacy

Space Jam: A New Legacy

We always like to tell ourselves that we should learn from the past in order to not make the same mistakes in the future. Space Jam: A New Legacy decided to ignore that completely and instead focus on the things that made the original a massive missed opportunity.
I'm not a fan of the original Space Jam. Even though I'm the perfect age to have a nostalgic love for the film, I never saw it as a child and could only view it from the perspective of a grown adult. Many people my age love the film and voraciously defend it from the critics "just not knowing good movies", but the film is and was always meant to be an exercise in brand marketing first and a well-constructed film second. Space Jam was made as a way to sell, Jordan products and Tune Squad merch, not the other way around. So as a result we got lazy writing, bad acting from a Sports figure with no acting experience, and a motley of recognizable Looney Tunes favorites with none of the heart or spirit of what made them classic children's characters, to begin with.
Yet somehow, someway, Space Jam has stood the test of time. As a result, sequel talks have floated around for over 2 decades before it was finally announced that a sequel would finally happen with the new face of the NBA Lebron James taking over for Michael Jordan.
Despite my sourness towards the first film, I really thought that Space Jam could learn some lessons from that first film and possibly make a mash-up that worked. I was actually excited because I thought this IP had nowhere to go but up. Thanks to his cameo in Trainwreck, I knew that James was already a far more capable acting talent than Jordan, and Computer animation has made tremendous strides in the 25 years since the original film. Even the trailers showed some real promise of giving us the fully realized idea of that 1996 feature-length Hare Jordan ad.
Then I watched the film, and it's just about as bad as it could be. Maybe it's not the disaster that others claim it is, but it is apparent that A New Legacy doesn't mean lessons learned. This film is a somehow worse example of brand advertising disguised as art. It's a two-hour nightmare, a disguised Warner bros commercial starring the Looney Tunes. Maybe even worst of all, it's not even funny outside of a hilariously stupid Big Chungus reference. Lebron James has regressed as a performer, showing he is nowhere near capable of replicating whatever made him passible in Trainwreck, and outside of an always game Don Cheadle as the film's villain, maybe one of the worst acted films I've seen in a decade. That Looney Tunes spirit is, once again, nowhere to be found and most of the film's runtime is dedicated to stuffing all of Warner Brothers IPs down our throat. Even during the actual Basketball game, I was so distracted by all the WB characters surrounding the game that I barely realized how stupid and contrived the rules of the game were. There were no stakes thanks to "been there done that" storytelling and bad pacing.
This film's defenders are using the "It's for kids" approach to defending the film's laziness, But I would ask those people who they think this film is for? I have no freaking idea. The animation and color palette is clearly for younger viewers, but if this is a kid's movie why is WB making Austin Powers, Game of Thrones, Mad Max, Casablanca, and Clockwork Orange references. They clearly tried to appeal to those millennials who love the first one and failed spectacularly just admit it.
This movie is an outright disaster. It's not funny, It learned nothing from the first film and it may be the most blatant advertising for a movie studio I've ever seen. I shouldn't have to subscribe to HBO Max or pay a ticket price to see a commercial.

Tyler liked this review