We live in a society, Doc.
Space Jam: A New Legacy was released in 2021, and was directed by Malcolm D. Lee. The film stars Lebron James as Himself, Bugs Bunny & the rest of the Looney Toons as themselves, and Don Cheadle as Al G. Rhythm. When King James and his son, Dom, are transported into a Server-Verse by an evil artificial intelligence, the only way to escape is for James to team up with the Looney Tones in order to win a basketball game.
James does his best, but at times can feel like he’s reading directly off the script with little to no emotion. A large portion of the film takes place in the classically draw style of the original cartoons, here, James’ voice acting is much better than in-person acting, and the voice work on all of the Looney Toons characters is great.
Cheadle carries the movie on the acting side for the most part, but maybe that’s not saying too much when his co-star is a basketball player, not an actor.
Bugs Bunny is funny and all that, but I’m including this sentence to say that they really pulled a Shrek: Forever After with his character development and it wasn’t supposed to, but made me laugh.
The script at times can feel more like Ready Player One than a sequel to Space Jam, by jumping from different Warner Bros. properties such as a DC, and Matrix World. Although to be fair, the way this story uses these different universes is far superior to how Ready Player One wasted its uses of the Warner Bros. media with a truly awful film.
To add to this, it’s a script that knows what it is, and is what Godzilla vs. Kong wanted to be. Let me explain, there are multiple moments in A New Legacy where characters like Rick and Morty show up for 8 seconds, or Bugs Bunny tells James what characters they do and don’t have the rights to use, it stays in the same tone as not only the original, but also the classic Looney Toons cartoon. It’s not supposed to ‘wow’ the audience. Godzilla vs. Kong has too many moments where characters go against how they would act in the films before, or take all this time to explain how powerful Mecha-Godzilla was, only to literally have it be destroyed in major-part to pouring a drink onto a computer. A New Legacy has fun with its… ugh, what’s the word… LOONEY, ideas, whereas Godzilla vs. Kong ruins its premise by not respecting the source material and never committing to one idea or another.
Anyway, the hand-drawn animation and CGI for the Looney Toons are both top notch, and the film does a good job at knowing how long to stick with one style, before going back to the other. The updated costume designs for the Toon Squad at the end of the film work well and balance out the original designs.
Space Jam: A New Legacy doesn’t always work, and is definitely not better than the original, but it tells a story with heart and at the end of the day has fun. It’s really not as bad as most critics are saying, I mean it’s a sequel to a film where Micheal Jorden went into the ‘Toon World’ by getting dragged into a golf hole by Bugs Bunny. What did people expect?
[My Grade for Space Jam: A New Legacy is a C]