Synopsis:

When LeBron and his young son Dom are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court: a powered-up roster of professional basketball stars as you’ve never seen them before. It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest-stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself.

I’m not sure which is more difficult, having haters constantly doubt and berate you or disappointing your supporters. I’d say it’s the latter, however, the hate can take a toll on you when it is prevalent every time you get online. Our nature tends to lead us in the direction of proving naysayers wrong. We have to remember that haters are going to hate regardless, they’re unhappy with themselves. If you feel satisfied with what you have done, that’s all that matters.

“Can’t be great without putting in work.”

Once again, the Tune World and the world of our greatest athlete clash in Space Jam: A New Legacy. This time around the internet and technology play a gigantic role. If you were a child like myself when the original Space Jam was released, the King James version is made for you. This is a movie where you don’t have to overthink it, just have fun and let the power of nostalgia compel you. Featuring the Looney Tunes, of course, Warner Bros. also took the opportunity to flex their extensive catalog of entertainment. From The Matrix, The Game of Thrones, Mad Max, King Kong, and more, there is a multitude of things to catch in the background. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to watch The Mask in the next few days. Visually, the film looks amazing. The blend of live-action and animation looked seamless. However, it is a bit jarring to see Bugs and friends in 3D animation. The movie definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously. Instead, it focuses on fun and family, and that’s exactly what it is, fun for the family. The storyline is somewhat reminiscent of its predecessor and is a very easy and enjoyable watch. While it may not be the movie of the year, you have to admit, the original wasn’t either.

The personality from the first one is still alive and well but with more jokes than ever. Dad jokes thrive here as do Warner Bros. reference jokes. It’s still meta, still has heart, but what really makes this film work is its villain, Al G. Rhythm (Don Cheadle). With plenty of subtle callbacks and some stylistic flare, there’s plenty to like. While I feel like it’s made for my generation that grew up with the franchise, the kids today will love it and its message as well. The film is vibrant, has a dope soundtrack, is pointed, and very now. I may not have loved every aspect of it, but I had a fun time. Space Jam: A New Legacy is definitely worth a watch for the culture. Its rewatchability is medium-high.

(L-R) CEDRIC JOE as Dom James, LEBRON JAMES and DON CHEADLE as AI G. Rhythm in Warner Bros. Pictures’ animated/live-action adventure “SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
(L-R) LEBRON JAMES and BUGS BUNNY in Warner Bros. Pictures’ animated/live-action adventure “SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Pacing & Pop

The film’s abrupt start threw me off a tad bit, but from that point on, it’s nothing but jokes and basketball… well, Dom Ball. What popped for me was its visuals. The film looked amazing, smooth, and colorful.

(L-R Backs to Camera) LEBRON JAMES, LOLA BUNNY, (Front Row L-r) YOSEMITE SAM, SYLVESTER, BUGS BUNNY, PORKY PIG, TASMANIAN DEVIL, ELMER FUDD (Back Row L-r) TWEETY BIRD, FOGHORN LEGHORN, GOSSAMER, GRANNY, ROAD RUNNER and WILE E. COYOTE in Warner Bros. Pictures’ animated/live-action adventure “SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
(L-r) DAFFY DUCK, BUGS BUNNY, YOSEMITE SAM, FOGHORN LEGHORN, PORKY PIG, LOLA BUNNY and WILE E. COYOTE in Warner Bros. Pictures’ animated/live-action adventure “SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. © 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Characters & Chemistry

LeBron James may be a star on the basketball court, but the star of this film is Don Cheadle as Al G. Rhythm.  As Al G. he is charismatic, funny, manipulative, and charmingly diabolical. Cheadle commands the screen and his level of comfortability results in an ease of line delivery. While Lebron has impressed in previous acting roles, he felt a bit out of his element at times. They did poke fun at athletes becoming actors, so he knows he has some work to do. Along with Cheadle, I was very impressed by newcomer, Cedric Joe as Dom. He lit up the screen and really put you in the mindset of his character. He has a bright future. I also enjoyed Granny (Candi Milo) a great deal.

Space Jam: A New Legacy is now in theaters as of July 16, 2021, and also streaming on HBO Max for 30 days. Stay safe and enjoy.

Director: Malcolm D. Lee

Writers: JUEL TAYLOR & TONY RETTENMAIER & KEENAN COOGLER & TERENCE NANCE and JESSE GORDON and CELESTE BALLARD

Producers: RYAN COOGLER, p.g.a., LEBRON JAMES, MAVERICK CARTER, p.g.a., DUNCAN HENDERSON, p.g.a.

Executive Producers: SEV OHANIAN, ZINZI COOGLER, ALLISON ABBATE, JESSE EHRMAN, JAMAL HENDERSON, SPENCER BEIGHLEY, JUSTIN LIN, TERENCE NANCE, IVAN REITMAN

Rated: PG

Runtime: 1h 55m

Rating: 3 out of 5

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