Space Jam: A New Legacy

‘Looney Tunes’ was a long running Warner Brothers short film animated series starting in 1930. Featuring an array of characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Tweety Bird, the series entertained generations. Many of its catchphrases and cartoons have gone into folklore although their full-length cinematic forays have been few. Last seen in 2003 with the fun ‘Looney Tunes: Back in Action’, they return in this sequel to the 1996 hit, ‘Space Jam’. ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ brings the series to life once again in a mix of live action and fantastical animation as only the Looney Tunes gang can provide.

Basketball champion LeBron James and his son Dom (Cedric Joe) become trapped in a virtual reality world. Run by dastardly A.I Al-G-Rhythm (Don Cheadle), he gives LeBron a chance to save his son. He must win a basketball game against Al’s dangerous avatars, the Goon Squad. LeBron is left with no choice but to recruit the help of the Looney Tunes brigade. Hitting the court alongside Porky Pig, Speedy Gonzalez, as well as Bugs and Daffy, LeBron’s sports skills are sorely tested as he grapples with his eternally crazy co-players.

Whilst ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ is fun, it’s less than it could have been. It may seem churlish to criticize an animated movie aimed at younger viewers, but a film should deliver the goods no matter who it’s made for. One can’t help feel ‘Space Jam 2’ was made by a committee of studio execs desperate to shoehorn as much marketing opportunities as possible. Not only does ‘Space Jam 2’ feature the Looney Tunes brigade, but also every single Warner Brothers character ever made. The appearance of characters from ‘The Matrix’, and even ‘Game of Thrones’ seems inappropriate for a film like this.

When focussing on Bugs Bunny, etc, ‘Space Jam 2’ flies high. It helps LeBron shows some genuine acting skills, unlike previous basketballers turned film stars. Unlike them, LeBron doesn’t embarrass himself and mingles well with his animated co-stars. Cheadle also has fun as the hiss-able baddie, hamming it up for all its worth. The most fun to be had is watching Bunny, Daffy get up to their usual tricks, making one feel you’re catching up with friends you haven’t seen for ages. Their appearance, in between other endless Warner Brothers references, is welcome.

At times ‘Space Jam 2’ feels like a commercial for Warner Brothers properties than a real flick. When the Looney Tunes gangs are allowed to creep into the story, it’s enjoyable, carefully updating their legacy while respecting what’s gone before. It could have been a better reunion with the characters though with the corporate bemouths in control of the Looney Tunes characters the real obstacles they have to overcome.

Rating out of 10: 6


No Comments

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI
You can also bookmark this on del.icio.us or check the cosmos