Space Jam: A New Legacy

Space Jam: A New Legacy
Running time:115 minutes
Director:Malcolm D. Lee
Release date:16 july 2021
Welcome to the Jam! NBA champion and global icon LeBron James embarks on a wild ride with Bugs Bunny. LeBron and his young son Dom are held prisoner in a digital space by a malevolent artificial intelligence. The basketball player must bring his little boy home safely, defeating Bugs, Lola Bunny and their Looney Tunes pals against the artificial intelligence's digitized champions: a team of NBA and WNBA stars pumped up like never before!

Mulder's Review

We had to wait 25 years to discover a sequel to Joe Pytka's film Space Jam (1996) in which basketball player Michael Jordan was hired by the Looney Tunes to help them win a game against aliens. The film was a box-office success, earning $25 million worldwide, making it the tenth highest grossing film of 1996. The concept of the first film is used here and LeBron James replaces Michael Jordan. Considered one of the best players in the history of the NBA and often compared to Michael Jordan, his presence in the credits of Space Jam: A New Legacy is a clear indication of Warner Bros. Having not totally hooked on the first part, we have to admit that this sequel turns out to be an excellent surprise as it shows the real potential of Warner Bros studios in terms of multi universe and far from showing a superiority in front of Hollywood studios, the studios make fun of themselves with a humor that is constantly aimed right.

In terms of juxtaposed universes, Space Jam : A New Legacy seems to go in the direction of the one that Marvel entertainment (see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) and recently the Loki series), there are thus several universes confused and in which evolves the characters of the Warner Bros universe and its subsidiaries like DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and others. By taking a step back from reality to offer us a modern tale, Space Jam: A New Legacy proves to be an excellent family entertainment that will please adults as well as a young audience fond of animated films and other short cartoons. 

After an introductory scene set in the past in which we discover LeBron James as a child who has just lost a game, his coach reminds him that he has the makings of a top player and that he needs to prepare himself better to let his art shine on the basketball court. By following this advice, LeBron James became a true world star and established himself as one of the best players in basketball. Nowadays, while basketball player LeBron James and his young son Dom are visiting Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, they find themselves trapped in a digital space by a malevolent AI, Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle). To save his son and bring him back safely, LeBron James must win a basketball game against Al-G Rhythm's team (in which he will have to face his own son under the evil influence of this evil character).  LeBron James starts to build a perfect team and after having in mind to recruit the animated version of Superman, King Kong and other characters of the Warner Bros. universe, he will have to settle for a team composed only of the main characters of Looney Tunes in which we find Bug Bunny, Lola Bunny, Daffy Duck and other characters. 

With its scenes in classic animation taking place in the universe of Looney Tunes in which LeBron James becomes a real cartoon character and its scenes in several universes of Warner Bros as that of DC Animation, Matrix, a large part of the film is devoted to a basketball game perfectly staged and attended by a multitude of characters. We find in this universe reminding us a lot of the excellent Ready Player One (2018) by Stephen Spielber, the characters of cartoons such as those of Animaniacs, the animated universe of Hanna-Barbera (Captain Cave, The Fools of the Flying, The Jetsons, The Flintstones) but also characters from many films and series such as Blade Runner, Game of Thrones, Lethal Weapon, Lord of the Rings, Dirty Harry, Mad Max, Matrix Ocean Eleven, Police Academy, Shining, Very Bad Trip, 300, It, Casablanca, Catwoman, Cujo, In the Dark, In Troubled Waters, Freddy : Nightmare Ones, Goodfellas, Gremlins, Independence Day, Joker, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Maltese Falcon, The Iron Giant, The Wizard of Oz, The Exorcist, The Neverending Story, Mars Attacks! , Million Dollar Baby, Nancy Drew, A Clockwork Orange, Pacific Rim, What Happened to Baby Jane, Rampage: Out of Control, Tarzan, The Goonies, The Mask, Tomb Raider, Friday the 13th, and Yeti and Company. The DC, Conjurin and Monsterve cinematographic universes are not forgotten either and we can find King Kong as in Ready Player one but also Godzilla and, being careful, Robocop, Terminator, Fantastic Animals, Pikachu and Tom & Jerry movie version.

Far from being a simple display of the excellent catalog of licenses owned by Warner Bros, Space Jam: A New Legacy never forgets to offer quality entertainment to the spectators with many ideas such as the passage from traditional animation to computer graphics of Looney Tunes characters. The result is a titanic game of basketball in which we really get into the game with the desire to applaud. While Michael Jordan was a true genius on a basketball court, his acting was not really convincing. His replacement here by LeBron James brings a considerable added value to the film. His shadow hovers around this film whether it is on a poster in a scene or the presence of an American actor of almost identical name (Michael B Jordan).

Undoubtedly, Warner Bros studios offer us here an excellent family entertainment in spite of American critics who do not praise this film and criticize it on its way of wanting to display a large panel of its licenses. However, far from being an advertisement for the visit of the Warner Bros studios in Burbank, Space Jam - A New Legacy is an excellent surprise that we are happy to see again, as some scenes had to be seen in slow motion in order to recognize all the characters who are watching this basketball game, which is the best one seen in the cinema for a long time.

Space Jam: A New Legacy
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee
Screenplay by Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Keenan Coogler, Terence Nance, Jesse Gordon, Celeste Ballard
Story by Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Keenan Coogler, Terence Nance
Based on Space Jam by Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick, Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod
Produced by Ryan Coogler, LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Duncan Henderson
Starring LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Khris Davis, Sonequa Martin-Green, Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza, Zendaya
Cinematography : Salvatore Totino
Edited by Bob Ducsay
Music by Kris Bowers
Production companies : Warner Animation Group, Proximity Media, The SpringHill Company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date : July 12, 2021 (Los Angeles), July 16, 2021 (United States), July 21, 2021 (France)
Running time : 115 minutes

Seen on July 18, 2021 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 15 seat A19

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