Space Jam, was one of my favorite movies as a child. It combined two of my favorite things, Looney Tunes and Basketball. It was just a fun movie, it didn’t take itself to seriously and it was great to see all these basketball greats interact with some of my favorite Looney Tunes characters. Fast forward to 6 months after Lebron James moved to the Los Angeles Lakers, it was announced that a new Space Jam would be made. So on July 16 when Space Jam: A New Legacy, starring Lebron James and Don Cheadle, came out, I decided to waste an hour and a half of my life watching this film, I had immediate regret and anger. Now before we get to all the things that made this movie arguably one of the worst films I have ever seen, I will try my best to explain what this atrocity was about.
The story starts with Lebron James disagreeing with his younger son, Dom, over the fact that he believes he should play basketball but his son is more interested in videos games. It then cuts to this algorithm that Warner Bros uses, named Al. G Rhythm (Don Cheadle), that’s designed to pitch ideas to Warner Bros executives. It’s big idea is, due to Lebron James global popularity, and influence, to remake past Warner Bros movies and tv shows like “Lebron and the Chamber of Secrets” and “Lebron of Thrones”. The Warner Bros Executives then pitch the idea to Lebron and his son Dom, in which his son likes the idea and Lebron thinks it’s stupid and turns it down. This upsets Al. G Rhythm, so when Lebron and his son get on the elevator to leave the studio, Al. G Rhythm hacks the elevator and takes it down to the Warner Bros Server room. Dom in amazement runs into the giant server room and Lebron runs after him. Al. G Rhythm then somehow digitizes Lebron and his son and kidnaps them into his domain which he calls “the Server-Verse”. Lebron and Al. G Rhythm then talk and Al. G says that he see’s how great his son is and that Lebron will be stuck in the Server-verse unless Lebron James beats Al. G Rhythm and his son Dom in a game of Basketball. Al. G tells Lebron he has 24 hours to find a team and sends him to the “rejects” in Tune World. (Dead serious this is the plot).
When Michael Jordan did Space Jam, by no means was he the greatest athlete actor, but he had charisma that made what he was doing charming. Not only was Lebron horrible and didn’t have an ounce of charisma, this is probably the worst and least believable performance by an athlete I have ever seen. Emmy and Oscar nominated actor Don Cheadle playing the antagonist Al. G Rhythm, I feel he did the best he could, it’s unfortunate the best was still absolutely horrible. Almost all his jokes were misses and most of the other things he said came off stupid and cringe. I don’t blame him, it was almost certainly the writers. The supporting Athletes consist of: Sue Bird, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, and Nneka Ogwumike. They appear in the movie for all of 2 minutes where LeBron’s son Dom scans them into his game, using his phone, that he’s making called Domball. The rest of the time they are the voices of enhanced versions of themselves that make up Al. G Rhythm’s Goon Squad. Of course they’re terrible, they have no inflection in their voices and it was extremely disappointing not having the actual athletes there. I wanna say that I haven’t watched any modern Looney Tunes, so when they all join Lebron James I found that most of them are shells of their former selves. Bugs Bunny sounds like a terrible Joe Pesci impression, I didn’t even notice Elmer Fudd, and the rest are just not the funny, goofy, memorable tunes I knew and loved. The only tunes who resemble their former selves are Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, and Porky Pig who arguably has the best part of the movie where he beats Al. G Rhythm in a Rap Battle. The Characters are bad, but lets dive deeper into the rabbit hole.
When Lebron James gets to Tune World the only Tune there is Bugs Bunny. They steal Marvin the Martians ship to go explore the Server-Verse . They have to go find the other Tunes who happen to be in other Warner bros titles. Here is where they find some of them: Daffy Duck and Porky Pig are in Superman, Granny and Speedy Gonzalez are in the Matrix, Roadrunner and Wile. E Coyote are in Mad Max, Elmer Fudd is Mini-Me in Austin Powers, and Lola Bunny is trying to become an Amazonian in Wonder Woman. You would think that’s where the shameless references stop, but no, the basketball game needed a big audience. The audience consists of people who got sucked into their phone (I’m serious) and other shameless refrences who consist of: Mr. Smith from The Matrix, Pennywise the Clown, the White Walkers from Game of Thrones, the Iron Giant, King Kong, The Powerless Monstars from the original Space Jam and the Mask just to name a few. My podcast co-guest host Matt put it best when he compared it to an even worse Ready Player One. It’s so outragously shameless, I truly believe the whole movie is just a giant flex by Warner Bros. It’s overdone and comes across as an advertisement more than a movie that allegedly has the meaning of be who you want to be.
Lebron’s son Dom created this game called, Domball, which is his take on basketball. You get things like style points, extra points for stuff like ankle breakers and posturizing your opponent. It’s not real basketball. So when Al. G Rhythm convinces Lebron’s son Dom that they need to beat his dad in a game of basketball, the game they end up playing is a giant version of Domball rather than regular basketball. I wouldn’t have a problem with it but the movie changes the rules of the game whenever they want. Everything anybody on the Goon Squad does results in absurd amounts of points. You want a comeback, well the Tune Squad is down by 1000 at half-time ( not a typo). The only thing that changes at half-time is Lebron tells the Tunes to be more Looney, aaaaand they catch up. Near the end they even abandon their own stupid rules for their stupid game of Domball. That’s right, they make up a dumb ruleset and then just abruptly stop using it with no explanation. A complete disregard to their own rules they set for this terrible version of basketball.
Lebron vs Jordan GOAT debate has taken place for a while now and this was another step at Lebron developing his legacy, but frankly this movie is a disgrace to the original Space Jam and solely based on this movie Lebron is not the GOAT. Watching this movie was painful enough, so having to break down why it was so bad has hurt my brain so much it will take years of therapy to recover. I would not wish for my worst enemy to have to watch this movie. Don’t watch this movie, you will thank me.
Rating: Should Be Illegal to Mention It in the Same Sentence as Paddington 2. Mentioning it at All Should be Illegal. It Should Be Illegal.
This review used our old rating system, The Paddington Scale. To learn more please read this post