Space Jam: A New Legacy: Directed by Malcolm D. Lee. With LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe, Khris Davis. A rogue artificial intelligence kidnaps the son of famed basketball player LeBron James, who then has to work with Bugs Bunny to win a basketball game.
The movie opens with Lebron James’s career highlights, which are pretty cool to see, as I have no been following his career very much, but from the moment the guy steps on screen to the moment he leaves, I can’t help but dislike him and everything he stands for in this movie. Someone had the bright idea to have him copy Michael Jordan’s original “Space Jam” but sprinkle in some Vin Diesel style “Family Is Important” messaging. They could have copied the concept and moved it to a different tie in franchise, but no, they pulled the rotting corpses of the Looney Tunes characters from the back of the Intellectual Property closet and had them dance the same morbid dance they danced nearly 20 years ago. The characters were just coming off of a well received Tiny Toons series at the time, but this time around, I don’t think poor Bugs is up to very much.
The entire thing comes off as very anti video games, with LeBrone preaching about basketball work from his million dollar compound, while surrounded by security walls and robotic ball tossing assistants, which were one of the few funny bits in the film.
Aside from the main plot, all the stuff going on in the background of the film and the weird cancel culture they fell into distracted from any positives I would take from the film. They axed Pepe Le Pew, fine, that makes sense in the world we live in, he’s a bit of a rapey character which honestly has no place in modern cartoons, but why did they include the insanely racist “Speedy Gonzalez” character is still in the franchise? Why did they degender Lola Bunny? Why is the rape gang from Clockwork Orange prominently featured in mid-court ‘seats’ for nearly the entire film? The whole thing is baffling and comes off as complete disingenuous and unfortunate.
If I were LeBron, and trust me, I’m no where near the athlete, father, or man he is, but if I were him, I would not let this movie be the last thing I was seen in. He’s constantly had Michael Jordan’s legacy looming over him his entire career, and this is just one more thing that MJ did much better than he did.