“Space Jam: A New Legacy” was directed by Malcolm D. Lee, who previously did “Undercover Brother”, “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” “Girls Trip” & “Night School” and is a sequel to the 1996 original film. The film stars LeBron James, Cedric Joe, Sonequa Martin-Green & Don Cheadle in live action roles while Zendaya, Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza & Gabriel Iglesias serve as the voice cast. Notable NBA & WNBA stars like Klay Thompson, Damien Lillard, Diana Taurasi, Nneka Ogwumike & Anthony Davis play both their live action as well as their animated counterparts. After the release of the first film, a sequel was announced but when Michael Jordan was uninterested in returning, the new film would be teased as a spin off with other athletes like pro skater Tony Hawk, Champion golfer Tiger Woods & NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, however it never came to be until 2014 when Terence Nance wrote script following the original film but with current NBA star, LeBron James, in the lead. Filming began in 2019 but only weeks in to production Nance left the project & was replaced by Lee but is still credited as the writer.
After winning his 4th NBA championship with a 3rd team, Lebron James (playing a fictionalized version of himself) is now teaching his 2 young son the fundamentals of basketball. His youngest son, Dom (Joe) is computer software prodigy who has developed his own video game. Lebron & Dom are invited to the Warner Bros. Studio for a meeting about Lebron making movies. Lebron passes on the idea but Dom takes interest in their new Warner 3000 tech. This tech was developed by a state of the art algorithm who calls itself, Al-G Rhythm (Cheadle). Al-G becomes self aware & Lebron passes the idea, he begins to manipulate Dom and later kidnaps him into a virtual world. Al-G challenges Lebron to a basketball game. If Lebron wins, he & Dom are free to go but if Al-G wins then only Dom goes free while Lebron remains in the virtual world. Lebron agrees and must assemble a team using only the Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck & Lola Bunny (Zendaya). Al-G also assembles a team using Dom’s software which has the powers & abilities of current NBA & WBNA players and even Dom himself which forms The Goon Squad (the current NBA & WNBA stars).
Personally, I’ve always considered the original film a cult classic and was not the biggest fan of Lebron James so my first reactions of a “Space Jam” sequel were not very pleasant. After seeing this movie, I have to say, I was very impressed. While this was no where near as good as the first film, it was still entertaining and fun for the kids of this generation. The only complaint I have is the idea behind Lebron’s storyline. His acting is not great at all. It worked for Michael Jordan cause they didn’t make up a storyline for him, rather just used his own persona to whereas here, they tried to give Lebron his own plot line and it didn’t work. Don Cheadle was terrible but a bit over the top. This film follows almost the exact same formula as the first. The Looney Tunes must played a basketball game against a team of actual players, so they bring in the game’s biggest star to help them win.
Overall, this was an entertaining film but not as good as the first. Lebron James a great NBA player but like many NBA players who appear in movies like Michael Jordan & Shaquille O’Neal, their acting isn’t the best. The digital upgrade this movie got was a great visual improvement. Much like the original & other remakes and or reboots, a simple setting but with modern twist.