Space Jam: A New Legacy – Was It Worth the Wait?

Image Courtesy of Warner Brothers

Colette TamburiniStaff Writer

Welcome back to the Space Jam! Summer’s latest hit movie, Space Jam: A New Legacy, came out on the HBOMax streaming service July 16. After 25 years of the first Space Jam film, the highly anticipated follow-up now stars successful basketball player LeBron James alongside the classic Looney Tunes crew. But with all the mixed reviews popping up about the film, is this movie truly worth the wait? Or is this another mediocre flick?

Space Jam: A New Legacy follows James as he tries to teach his son, Dom James (played by Cedric Joe), the accurate rules of basketball. However, Dom would rather develop video games as a career. This causes a drift between father and son to come apart. Soon, LeBron James gets called to Warner Bros. Studios in hopes that they can sign him up on grand movie/tv show deals. But after dismissing their offer, James soon finds himself trapped in a virtual reality where multiple Warner Bros. franchises reside. This is where we’re introduced to the software’s A.I., Al-G Rhythm (played by Don Cheadle).

Angry that LeBron James refused the movie star offer, Al-G Rhythm keeps Dom to himself and challenges James to a basketball game, which if James wins can go back to the real world along with his son. After being sent to Tune World, James comes across Bugs Bunny, who tells him that all the Tunes left to go to other Warner Bros. worlds. It is now up to LeBron James and Bugs Bunny to recruit all the Looney Tunes in time to the epic basketball game. 

Space Jam: A New Legacy has a ton of fun moments for the whole family. The Looney Tunes are charming as always which they use their unique, wacky skills to play the basketball game. From Granny using her kick-butt skill to dodge opponents to the Tasmanian Devil whirling around the basketball court, causing it to literally twist. The movie features a more video game-esque playthrough of basketball, which kids will be delighted to see. The special effects are an eye-candy to behold, with fun animation and bright colors to be fully emersed.

The true highlight of A New Legacy is the Warnerverse. LeBron James and Bugs Bunny must travel the software to get the rest of the Looney Tunes, and with that we get thrust into worlds such DC comics where Daffy Duck tries to save Gotham City, Wile Coyote riding alongside Mad Max in a desert to capture Roadrunner, and even Rick and Morty stop by to drop off the out-of-control Tasmanian Devil. 

This leads to some problems of Space Jam: A New Legacy. While many people can enjoy seeing familiar Warner Bros. properties, others may find it pandering and almost like the studio is showing a long commercial.

It also doesn’t help that the movie has such a bland, predictable plot which doesn’t allow the viewers to care for LeBron James’ journey to get his son back when the Looney Tunes are in danger. The acting some actors, especially James, performs can go from awkward to having blank faces.

But to be fair, acting isn’t James’ specialty. Besides the voice cast doing a great job with their characters, the only actor that shines in this flick is Don Cheadle as Al-G Rhythm. He brings a great performance and is such fun to watch.

Just like how Space Jam became a cult classic over time, Space Jam: A New Legacy may not win many viewers, but it certainly does have an audience. If you are looking for a moving, emotional film to be immersed in, this isn’t the right flick. It has corny moments, some unmemorable characters, and a predictable plot that can almost seem boring.

However, if what you’re looking for is to turn off your brain and watch some wacky Looney Tunes play basketball, this is the perfect movie to enjoy. Get you space jam on and see Space Jam: A New Legacy when it releases on digital and DVD. This one basketball game you don’t want to miss!