Space Jam: A New Legacy dials up the looney levels as LeBron James creates a new chapter for the iconic basketball film.
Space: Jam: A New Legacy stars 4-time NBA Champion, Finals MVP, and regular season MVP, LeBron James. A pseudo followup/reboot of 1996’s Space Jam, starring Michael Jordan, this new film looks to put a spin on the pop-culture phenomenon. With King James at the lead, his supporting cast supports him well. Oscar nominee Don Cheadle plays the main antagonist,, Khris Davis, who plays a Maverick-Carter-esque role, and Cedric Joe, playing LeBron’s son, Dom. Jeff Bergman and Eric Bauza reprise their roles as several Looney Tunes including Bugs and Daffy, and Zendaya takes on the role of Lola Bunny.
The story of both Space Jam’s are not too different, even references multiple times during the film. An all-time great NBA player must team up with Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes to save the world in a high-stakes basketball game. It’s basic, easy to understand, but very gravitating none-the-less. The sports movie genre has had memorable films over the years, from the dramatic like I, Tonya and Creed, to the lighthearted like The Mighty Ducks. Unlike all of them, the original Space Jam was a phenomenon. It inspired newcomers to the game of basketball, one being myself. It also gave the Looney Tunes a much needed booster shot to have an overall strong 90s. The film had a soundtrack that is still cited to this day and has simply embedded itself into the pop culture as a whole. It’s quite the legacy to live up to, and Space Jam: A New Legacy serves the name well.
Space: Jam: A New Legacy provides fun for the whole family. Jam-packed with nods to the original cartoons and full of slapstick humor, kids will be very entertained seeing these characters at their wackiest. In many ways, the looney level of the film is quite higher than that of the original Space Jam, with this iteration of the Tune Squad much more active on screen. For the long-time fans of the greatest of all time, Space: Jam: A New Legacy also has several nods for LeBron’s career and the NBA. With several NBA and WNBA stars cameoing, and with many jokes about the sport of basketball and LeBron’s career, there is something for everyone.
One of the interesting additions to Space: Jam: A New Legacy is the server-verse. A multiverse like element to the story which gets the entire Warner Bros. library involved, the film gives LeBron and Bugs Bunny the chance to interact with several worlds and characters from across the medium. From Superman and Wonder Woman, to Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, there are several things to keep fans engaged and the audience anticipating what comes next.
Of course, you can’t have a Space Jam movie without a basketball game, and that’s no different here. The game this time around has a longer run-time and different focus to the original game that saw Michael Jordan extending his arms to win at the buzzer. This time around, themes from the movie, and more drama is injected to fate of the world. With both the iconic characters from the Warner library and LeBron’s own family in danger, the stakes were high and LeBron James was there to save the day.
LeBron James and Michael Jordan are intrinsically different as ball players and actors. Jordan always had a sense of cool attached to him, that made for moments in his Space Jam where a stone-faced MJ would be reacting to the looniness of the tunes. It made for hilarious moments and ultimately Jordan learning to also be loose and more like his new friends. For Space Jam: A New Legacy, LeBron has no issues being just as looney as his cartoon counterparts, taking part in all the shenanigans and being a natural friend to Bugs Bunny. Outside of LeBron, strong performances from all the Tunes and a believable and fun showing from Cedric Joe make for an emotion through-line to the movie. Don Cheadle is naturally great in the film, as he is in any role he seems to take.
Overall, Space Jam: A New Legacy is a fun and exciting refresh to the looney basketball movie. With a charming performance from LeBron James, a multiverse of WB characters to explore, and the Looney Tunes at the top of their game, it’s a fun time for all.