So I watched the new Space Jam. One complaint, there is no space. In this version it’s inside the Warner Brothers Studios cloud storage server. So you see there is no space, hence not a Space Jam. I mean it could be a sequel to Space Jam, but like um… they didn’t call it Space Jam 2. I mean come on the name writes itself. Space Jam 2 the Net, that works. I just came up with that on the fly and it’s better than A New Legacy. For starters, Space Jam 1 doesn’t have a legacy. Secondly the title only fits if you really strech for it. See Lebron’s kid, Don I think, wants to make video games not play basketball. In the end his father comes to terms with that. Oh hush, that’s not spoilers. The good guys win in the children’s film surprise surprise. Which kinda leads to the meat if my issue with the reaction to this movie. You should know what you are gonna get. I don’t see why everyone is so surprised by this movie being a reference packed 2 hour family film. The original film was in 1996. That’s 25 years ago. Movies are completely different now. So if you are going to take this largely stand alone movie and compare it to the first film, well enjoy having a bad time. If you are going to compare family movies now to how they were 25 years ago? Michael said it best himself.
The reason it’s not Space Jam 2 is because it’s not. It can be, if you want it too, but it’s largely agnostic to the original. A few small references just nothing to ever directly say it happened. Which it kinda didn’t. The original Looney Tunes in Space Jam lived inside the center of the Earth. These Looney Tunes live inside the HBO Max server. It’s a completely different film. The new Space Jam is a story about Lebron James being a terrible person. His friend gives him a Gameboy which he throws away. The first scene of his decent into being no fun. It was all in this flash back that honestly really showed promise. The young Lebron stuff could have been a movie in and of itself. Like a Mighty Ducks kinda movie where perhaps the Looney Tunes showed him how to balance fun and hard work like a responsible human being. Instead they just jump forward to Lebron telling Don that video games will get him nowhere, that basketball is all that matters. This is where the movie tries to make it’s bed. A father son struggle about accepting that your parents want what they think is best for you, and about wanting them to understand you might know what you are doing. It’s a tale as old as, well, I guess after school very special episodes. So what exactly is Space Jam 2 if not a sequel or reboot?
It’s a nice family film. A movie that is more a love letter to Water Bros properties than a sports movie. Oddly lacking in showing that love to the classic, but that is okay. I will spare you the run down of references. There are plenty of YouTube channels doing just that if that’s all your after. When I say everything is here, well look.
It’s handled alright in the show, see the main bad guy is the YouTube algorithm. No really. This Al G. Rhythm just wants attention. It craves recognition so it wants to make a deep fake AI Lebron James to put into every HBO Show forever. Mister Rhythm doesn’t take to kindly to being turned down. So after some shenanigans ends up kidnapping Lebron’s kid. As one is want to do to show superiority to a basketball player, challenges Lebron to match. Then dumps him to the least watched part of HBO Max, the Looney Tunes. In order to build a team, Lebron needs to help Bugs track down his friends who all left to other HBO Worlds. Well yeah, they travel in a space ship like thing, but it’s more a data ship. Since it’s all inside a computer. The different franchises at first seem like a cute little throw away joke to introduce characters who honestly don’t need an introduction. Then you realize it’s more than that, it’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit situation when pretty much every WB owned character shows up to watch the game.
Is it a good movie though? Sure, why not. I’ve seen way worse. Plus you can watch it on HBO Max. Even just a one month subscription is worth Space Jam 2 and whatever else you watch while you are there. It doesn’t really need a big theater experience. Also you don’t need to own a copy. It will live on deep in the HBO Max library just waiting for a rewatch even if you just fast forward to the fun parts and easter eggs. Ultimately forgettable but with a low enough price that it’s okay. Space Jam 1 was basically a feature film lengthed commercial for everything Michael Jordan was sponsored by. As well as remember the 90s had lots of Nike made Looney Tunes shirts and hats that featured a heavy hip hop and sports vibe. So you can’t hold the blatant ham fisted attempts to get you to watch more WB properties against it. Also it’s not a good sports movie. The basket ball game’s rules are quote video game rules unquote. That’s the movie’s words there not mine. I find the rules to be more akin to Calvin Ball.
It’s a simple film. Order a pizza, grab some booze, get some friends or family, and just kick back and enjoy it. If you like Looney Tunes, you should have fun. If nothing else it opens the door to more Looney Tunes movies. A door that was slammed shut by Brendan Fraser with “Back in Action” around 2003. Or did we all conveniently forget that film?
That’s what I thought. Soon enough the hype and hate will die down around Space Jam 2 and it will just be a cute little family film sitting in an instant que. So I recommend watching it now, so in ten years you can get nostalgic about it and toss it back on. Remember that Looney Tunes movie that came out right after we had a massive pandemic? The first time I felt comfortable enough to have my friends over again? Oh right! It was that Space Jam sequel… let’s do a double feature. Oh that was figurative, do not watch Space Jam 1 before watching 2 for the first time. Classic Space Jam was just arguably a better movie all around.
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