Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) is the long awaited sequel to Space Jam (1996). But… who is this movie for?
Essentially, there are two options for who this movie should be for. It’s either for people who saw the original as a kid, and is now an adult, or it’s for kids. However, this movie, manages to be for neither.
The humor is too lame for adults but the actual content of the movie feels too mature for kids to enjoy.
If you don’t know, Space Jam: A New Legacy is movie about Basketball star Lebron James and his son getting transported into the Warner Brother’s “Serververse”, a world where all the intellectual property owned by Warner Brothers lives. Lebron James’ son then gets kidnapped by Al G. Rhythm (Don Cheadle), an algorithm. Don Cheadle then challenges Lebron James to a basketball game to get his son back, and Lebron ends up recruiting the Looney Tunes.
Children movies don’t have to just be for children. Grown adults line up outside the door every time a new Pixar or DreamWorks movie comes out. Those two studios know how to entertain both children and adults. This movie does not. The humor is just not there, I only audibly laughed at one joke. The rest was lucky to get a silent chuckle from me. Adults will likely only pay attention during this movie because some decisions in the making of this movie are absolutely baffling choices to be made for a children’s movie, that it becomes hard to look away. Which brings me to my next point, is this supposed to be for children?
Seriously, is this supposed to be for children? Let me give some background, the “serververse” in this movie is 100% just an excuse to use all the Warner Brother’s IP for cameos and Easter eggs in the audience at the big basket ball game in the climax. So, you’d expect kid friendly cameos. Right? So, what does Warner Brothers own? What could they put in the movie? Well, they own all the DC superheroes, Superman could be there! They own Scooby doo! Maybe Mystery Inc is behind Bugs Bunny, cheering him on! They own Harry Potter, maybe Hagrid or someone is in the crowd. That could be fun, right? That’d be cute. But… Those aren’t the properties they decided to highlight at the basket ball game. Nope. Very visible in the audience are Pennywise the Clown (the child murder from It), the White Walkers (the bad guys from Game of Thrones, a show famous for violence and sex scenes), the Droogs from A Clockwork Orange (yeah, fucking Clockwork Orange get’s an easter egg in this looney tunes basket ball movie, what the fuck?). And, those are just the ones a I recognized. There was also some creepy nun that is very visible in the audience, I just assume she’s from a horror movie. I just don’t get the rational. Were these characters just cheaper to have up front? I mean, the Flintstones, a child friendly property, were all the way in the back and barely visible, would it be that expensive to put them up front?
It’s one thing to have quick little references and jokes for the adults. For example, in this movie, the “time to recruit the team” montage was fun, with Lebron and Bugs Bunny traveling to different movie universes to find the lost Looney Tunes. The Road Runner and Wile Coyote being in Mad Max: Fury Road was actually pretty clever. But having Pennywise standing behind Don Cheadle for almost the entire basketball game is just weird.
Also, all the costumes of these cameos and Easter eggs in the audience are terrible. They all look like someone went to a Party City 30 minutes before they were about to start shooting. For god’s sake, the Voldemort in the audience has a nose. Not having a nose is like… his one thing. So lame.
This movie is really just an excuse for Warner Brother’s to show off everything it owns. It’s just so lame. It’s not even the first movie to do something like that. The Lego Movie series, both Wreck-it Ralphs, these movies only exist for companies to brag about what they own. The only difrrence is, those movies know that’s why they exist. They are very cheeky about, and it adds to the charm and humor of the movie. Space Jam: A New Legacy has absolutly none of that charm. This movie comes across as lazy and soulless because the jokes are poorly written and the references are inappropriate and weird.
Space Jam: A New Legacy wanted so badly to be a movie for everyone but ended up being a movie for no one.