Space Jam: A New Legacy was not as bad as I imagined it would be but it was not great either. I’m going to be fair and not compare this film to the original. James and Jordan are two separate people with two very different basketball legend statuses, as far as I’m concerned. I gave this movie a chance but I still had questions and so I will toggled between things I enjoyed and things that I could have done without.
Let’s start with the obvious–Porky Pig and this rapping. This movie stars a Black man, is produced by a Black man and directed by a Black man, so I get it, they want to incorporate some pieces of Black culture in the film. Taking the, arguably, whitest character with the least flavor and making him rap WAS NOT SOMETHING THE WORLD NEEDED. Also, when was that added as a feature of the game? I get the Looney Tunes went looney but they couldn’t add features to the game that weren’t there unless Dom made it a feature, which would make me ask him WHY? I can’t even remember if this was a game changer. If there is any other movie that wants to throw in hip-hop…because…Black people, please don’t.
The Black man I did appreciate seeing was Michael B. Jordan and not because he’s fine. Honestly, I didn’t even see the joke coming and it’s been staring us in the face the entire game. With that being said, I did wish that someone other than Sylvester presented him. I’ve watched the original a million times and Sylvester was a bench player who was on the court with Jordan a some point during the game. I would have been even funnier to me if Grandma was the one who said she found Michael B. Jordan. I would have cackled out loud if that happened.
I literally say this all the time, and yet, people still do it. I hate a movie that is long for no reason. This movie is just under two hours long FOR NO REAL REASON. The original is about an hour and thirty minutes and all parts equal to the whole. Porky Pig took up about five minutes and didn’t add to the game. If they had it up as a halftime show, I would have accepted it, but that’s not what happened. I want my time back. We spend a hour establishing all the things before the game even starts. Then, there’s an hour of the game, plus Porky. No bueno!
Not to harp on the bad but somewhere in the middle of this movie, I lost the motivation, which was to win his son back. Yes, he said it multiple times but I didn’t feel anything. Personally, I just felt like at a point it was more important for him to win the game…to win the game. Now, maybe that was the point but I wanted a scene where, I don’t know, Lebron looked over at his son and the clock while they were losing and said something to himself or just had a sad look on his face. It’s a small thing but I was just looking for a little bit of emotion.
Visually, the movie looked amazing. I love the twist with the players being avatars, but I didn’t understand why they all couldn’t be souped up robot players like Damian Lillard. Again, at no point in us being introduced to this game was there an explanation that your avatar could be, literally, anything. It confused me but I went with it. I did miss the actual players. The only player that really got to show off his actual personally was Lillard. I wanted to see the actual players longer or go back to them. Maybe they also could have been sucked into the server, too.
And another thing, what did y’all do to Lola Bunny? She started as an Amazonian in this film but ended the film real soft. She didn’t seem as strong as she did when we started this film or as she was depicted in the original. That burned my brisket.
All in all, I feel like I got a lot in this movie that didn’t amount to as much as thought they would give us. I’m sure the kids will love it but as a almost 30 year-old watching this, who remembers the original and remembers the feeling I had when watching it, I just wanted more heart.
Space Jam: A New Legacy is streaming now on HBO Max. If you have HBO Max or know someone who does, just stream it. You don’t need to see this in IMAX or anything spectacular.