Film Review: ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’
Malcolm D. Lee
Writers: Juel Taylor,Tony Rettenmaier Keenan Coogler
Stars: LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe
It’s been 25 years since we saw the first installment in the Space Jam franchise, the question was ultimately going to be are we going to get a sequel or an attempt at trying to reboot a classic? The answer is we got a bit of both. The film opens in Akron, Ohio, in 1998 the actual birth place of LeBron. In the sequence a young LeBron (Stephen Kankole) is practicing, but his coach thinks his head is not in the game, and he has to ditch all the distractions. Fast forward through an opening montage of LeBron’s career, he is now champion LeBron James raising a family. While he is all about basketball, his son Dominic “Dom” James (Cedric Joe) likes to design and play video games, and has even created one himself. This is heading towards conflict when at Warner Brother Studios, their inbuilt algorithm Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle) has devised a plan. A plan that pits son against father and makes the Looney Tunes fight for survival.
Smiles are brought to fans when Bugs Bunny (Jeff Bergman) makes his first entrance. It’s The joy of watching all the Looney Tunes is a delight, the banter between Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, the running gag of Marvin the Martian, and all your favorite characters. The film try’s to convey the emotional aspect of the story, not through the toons but from a father and a child trying to understand each other. This is not the standout of the movie by any means, I would say the walk through some of Warner Bros biggest films is definitely a highlight, from Mad Max Fury Road to Casablanca, and even a slo-mo scene ripped straight from the Matrix.
The story is very similar in a a lot of aspects to the original in that the result of a basketball match will decide the fate of the world and only the worlds best basketball player at the time can save the earth. It’s more entertaining than the original, the character designs for the opposing team are impressive and it’s even used the Looney Tunes characters in a way that stays true to their legacy while also introducing them to a new generation of kids.
My biggest let down, well I have to say it, no doubt would be the acting ability of LeBron James. I get he’s a sports star and not an actor, but considering he’s been in feature films before and ads you would think he has some training under his belt, but in this film it doesn’t look like it. When LeBron is turned into an animation I actually think he’s at his best, and if they had kept the film in that mode it actually may have worked. With my analytics out of the way for kids I think it’ll be highly enjoyable, there’s everything they could want, a sports star, comedy, cartoon’s and gaming.
‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ is not a revolutionary animation, but there is a good message here and aspects that can be appreciated. The kids will have a blast, and the parents will have a nostalgic feel.