Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) Review

LeBron James and the Looney Tunes cannot save this bloated sequel from sinking

Rony Patra -

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) Review
Platform
HBO Max
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Format
Original Movie Review
Movie Rated
All Ages
Genre
Animated,DRAMA,FAMILY
Language
English

What is the story about?

Dom, the youngest son of LeBron James, has a very uneasy equation with his father. While LeBron wants Dom to concentrate on basketball, Dom wants to focus on creating his own basketball video-game. However, when LeBron rejects a pitch by Warner Bros to become part of an immerse transmedial experience, Al G. Rhythm, an algorithm living within the servers of the studio, decides to trap LeBron and Dom in his world. Al G. challenges LeBron to a basketball game, which LeBron must win in order to escape with Dom. However, Al. G forces LeBron to train with the Looney Tunes, while he manipulates Dom to bring his own video-game creation to life. With his back to the wall, LeBron has no choice but to team up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes in order to put up a fight on the basketball court.

Analysis

The first 20 minutes of Space Jam: A New Legacy are the best of the film. At a meeting with executives from Warner Bros, basketball superstar LeBron James, who seems to play a more self-absorbed fictionalized version of himself, sits through a presentation touting how he can become part of "Warner's 3000", an all-encompassing programme where he could be part of any of their much-vaunted narrative worlds, from Harry Potter to Game of Thrones. The look of horror and derision Jones gives the executives is exactly what my expression was after watching this awful film. If the first twenty minutes were a glorified ego boost for actor and producer James, with a montage of his greatest hits in Basketball, the rest of the movie is a slapdash self-aggrandizing advertisement for Warner Bros, with their supposed Serververse being billed as a counter to Disney's multiple universes. The quality of animation is top-notch, and the transition from 2D to 3D is seamless. But, above all, this is a storytelling mess that is only meant for hardcore WB fans. If you want to see random stuff, such as Lola Bunny becoming an Amazonian, or Granny and Speedy Gonzales being part of The Matrix, or even Porky Pig rapping, this is for you. Otherwise stay away from this mess. 

Performances

I'm not joking when I say this, but LeBron James was much more fun to watch in the Amy Schumer-starrer Trainwreck than he is here. James looks woefully out of depth here. Sonequa Martin-Green, another fine actress, is wasted in a bit role as James' wife Kamiyah. The only person among the live-action cast who has any fun with his role is Don Cheadle as tech-nemesis Al G. Rhythm.
 
Among the voice cast, Jeff Bergman and Eric Bauza enjoy themselves voicing Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. However, Zendaya's voicing of Lola Bunny leaves a lot to be desired.

Music & Other Departments

The animation is top-notch, and the way it blends with live-action is also fantastic.

Highlights

The animation is the only bright spot about this movie.

Drawbacks

Practically everything else.

Did I enjoy it?

Absolutely not.

Do I recommend it?

Hell no.


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