Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee
I’m not asking LeBron James to “shut up and dribble” or “stick to basketball,” but I might kindly request he not make any more “Space Jam” remakes. Let’s be honest, the original Michael Jordan family comedy might have been fun if you were the right age at the time (as I was), but upon rewatching you have to admit it’s not exactly a good movie. There was no need to make such an obnoxiously uninteresting sequel.
LeBron James might be a great basketball player, but he’s not a very great dad. Even though his son Dom (Cedric Joe) programs an entire basketball video game from scratch, LeBron only cares that he’s not taking his step-back seriously enough. With that father/son tension still thick, Dom gets sucked into a digital world run by an evil algorithm (Don Cheadle) who makes him play his dad in a game. If Dom wins and his Goon Squad win, LeBron and all his fans will be trapped in the digital world for eternity. But can LeBron’s Tune Squad overcome the ridiculous odds?
When people joke about LeBron’s flopping being deserving of an Oscar, we joke. But some of those dramatics might actually be better than what’s on display here. Okay, maybe not. Those can look pretty silly. And besides, did Michael Jordan do much better in “Space Jam”? I won’t blame the athlete for not earning himself an Oscar nomination in a children’s movie. It’s not his fault the movie stunk. Warner Brothers brought in every franchise powerhouse they own to “cameo” in the movie, which reeked of corporate cross-promotion laziness. And if they insisted on bringing in the Mystery Machine, DC characters, and Pennywise, the least they could have done was make a movie to match. A movie that utilized all the recognizable faces at their disposal. Sort of like “Ready Player One” did a few years ago. Some scenes in “Space Jam: A New Legacy” were no doubt inspired by—or directly pulled from—that better movie. In fact, “Space Jam” is more like “Ready Player No-Fun.”