The problem with Space Jam: A New Legacy isn’t its reliance on references to other intellectual properties owned by Warner Brothers. Seeing Wile E. Coyote in a war rig from Mad Max: Fury Road is perfectly funny. Foghorn Leghorn as Daenerys Targaryen? Sure, why not? Most of our lives are spent ingesting meaningless content via Twitter and other social media outlets. How many people would see a mashup like that while scrolling through endless garbage content and giggle rather than scoff as they (generally) have here relative to a Space Jam sequel? As I wrote in my review of Ready Player One what feels like a decade ago: We’re all living in a world shaped by our relationships to these properties and, by extension, our relationships with other people who share that affinity for them. There’s no reason to pretend otherwise.
Wasn’t that the appeal of the first Space Jam? I enjoyed that movie as a kid. Then again, the Looney Tunes were more culturally pervasive 25 years ago than they are now. Warner Brothers was shrewd to bring in the rest of its toys because kids these days don’t really care about Bugs Bunny anyway.
The problem with Space Jam: A New Legacy, though, is that the latter half of the film is a tremendously boring basketball game that never seems to end even though the story about LeBron James learning to support his nerd son has predetermined beats and never surprises. This isn’t a shockingly bad movie, it’s a conventionally bad one. But it’s more of a big shrug than an epoch-defining disaster.
Of course, it looks perfectly fine in 4K insofar as a CGI adventure can look. The first half of the film is mostly animated, presumably because filming had to work around James’s basketball commitments. The latter half is just him and a few other stars working on a green screen.
Bonus features on this release include a few features, but nothing especially revealing or interesting.