Space Jam: A New Legacy should have just left the legacy of Michael Jordan and the original Space Jam alone, as this LeBron James led films falls flat.
The plot feels very forced, with LeBron James acting like a very strict father towards his sons, especially Dom, who has created his own basketball video game. For James, everything is basketball, and tells Dom when he is on the court, fundamentals are very important and to take the game seriously. He tries to take some interest in Dom’s video game, DOM BALL, but does not quite understand that the video game is not the normal basketball game he knows.
We see James, Dom, and Malik (childhood friend of James) all go to a pitch meeting that was secretly set up by Al-G Rhythm, the AI for Warner Bros. whose job is to come up with brilliant new ideas. The reason Al-G Rhythm set up this meeting is because its goal is to be recognized and respected, much like James is in the real world. When James rejects the idea of being able to be inserted in films, Al-G Rhythm lures Dom and James into the “Server-Verse” which houses every IP that Warner Bros. owns. There he is able to manipulate Dom into thinking that it cares about him and his game, while he sends James to Tune World, where only Bugs Bunny lives. He explains how Al-G Rhythm was able to trick the rest of the Looney Tunes to leave Tune World and spread among the Server-Verse. James and Bugs ride around, recruiting the other cartoons to reform the Tune Squad, which honestly was probably the only part of the film I actually enjoyed. We see the cartoons inserted in classic movies and words such as DC, Casablanca, and the Matrix to name a few.
I won’t give way more of the movie, but the whole thing feels forced, it does not have that magic that Michael Jordan brought to the original Space Jam. It felt like they threw everything at a wall and see what stuck and it just did not work, The Goon Squad (made up of current and legendary NBA and WNBA players) were even more ridiculous than the MonStars (we did get a cameo from the Nerdlucks) and they were just there, unlike the Nerdlucks in the original, where the actually mattered and had meaning in the film.
And the music to the film is nowhere near as memorable as the original, I could not even tell you one song that was played during the film.
After a fun and surprisingly good performance in 2015’s Trainwreck, LeBron James was in over his head in Space Jam: A New Legacy, with him either trying to hard to be tough or being very wooden. LeBron James needs to realize he is not Michael Jordan and won’t live up to his legacy in either the NBA or Space Jam. I give this film half a basketball out of 5.