I know, I know. ONLY EIGHT?! But I had to do what the Space Jam: A New Legacy editors refused to do and trim this thing down. If I listed every little thing that was wrong with this movie, I’d be blogging until Bronny Jr. releases the NEXT Space Jam movie in another 25 years.
This movie was the epitome of trying too hard and just doing too much – with the writing, the jokes, and the plotline ideas. At some point, LeBron James needs to hire himself a “no” man to prevent things like this from happening.
If I took one thing away from this movie, it’s that it was one 2-hour long commercial for LeBron James’ brand. It was an infomercial for Striving For Greatness. The whole thing felt calculated. Mostly about how to become great. And the only parts that weren’t were reminding us about LeBron’s career – both on and off the court. I’m honestly surprised it wasn’t called LeSpace James: A New Legacy. (And if you think that joke was bad, just wait until you watch this movie.)
I decided to list the top eight things I found wrong with this movie.
8. The Dialogue
This screenplay was written like it was a template on how to write a screenplay. It was as if Clippy helped write this thing. Because every single line of dialogue was used to describe the plot as the plot was playing out. It was suffocating the number of times LeBron said something like, “I have to win this game,” or “I have to win this game to get my son back,” or even “I’m never going to get my son back if I don’t win this game.” Part of me was left wondering if LeBron had to win that game to get his son back.
At one point in the movie, LeBron’s wife called him over to the sideline and told him, “You have to win this game to get our son back.” And LeBron responded with, “Ok.” And that was it. He jogged back to the middle of the court and the game began.
On top of that, the only lines that didn’t further explain the plot felt like really lame graphic tee’s you could buy at Spencer’s Gifts.
Daffy Duck: “Well that happened.”
Al-G.: “What in the AARP is going on out here?”
Al-G.: “What? You mad bro?”
Al-G.: “There’s no crying in the serververse.”
LeBron: “What in the matrix hell?”
You think I’m exaggerating or maybe having selective memory? Just check the Space Jam: A New Legacy IMDB page. Here are some the TOP quotes from the movie:
See what I mean?
Side note: every time they referred to Don Cheadle’s character, Al-G Rhythm, they referred to him as Al-G Rhythm. Don’t you think at some point, after the character is already established, you could maybe refer to him as – oh, I dunno – just Al-G?
7. Why Is Tweety Starting For The Tune Squad?
Of all the Looney Tunes, you decided to start a 6-inch canary who can’t pronounce their S’s? What the hell, Daffy Duck? That duck is easily LeBron’s worst head coach since David Blatt.
Why would you not start Foghorn Leghorn and that big red guy? Sure, they both look unathletic as hell, but I’d much rather take their size than an And1 ball-handler with Tweety bird size.
6. This Game Featured The Dumbest Crowd of All-Time
Sure, it was cool to see all of the different movie references from Warner Brothers films planted out in the crowd, but these fans were dumber than Cowboys fans (sorry, LeBron), and that’s not just because the Tune Squad hasn’t won anything in over 25 years either. It’s because they would not stop cheering throughout the entire game. Even after Al-G Rhythm told them the stakes of the game. I mean, you’d think if some algorithm said you’d be stuck in a serververse forever if a certain team won a basketball game, you’d cheer pretty hard for the other team, right? Yeah, that wasn’t the case here. If Bugs Bunny scored, cheering. If the Anthony Davis Goon Squad character scored, cheering. It didn’t matter what happened in the game, the crowd was always cheering.
Al-G also upped the stakes and said the Looney Tunes would be deleted if they lost the game. First off, Al-G clearly has never been to a Six Flags or seen the yearbook photos of my 4th-grade class, because if he had, he’d know just how much of a merchandise cash cow the Tunes are.
5. This Movie Featured Some Of The Oldest References
This movie felt like it was written by people in their 50’s who are still trying to relate with current pop-culture references.
Obviously, we knew we were going to be getting a lot of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter references, but if you think about it, even the most recent HP movie is a decade old.
Here are some of the things referenced in this movie:
- The Flintstones
- Yogi Bear
- Austin Powers
- Bobby Knight’s chair throw
- MC Hammer
- The Jetsons
- The Matrix
Kenny covered this in his preview of Space Jam, and he nailed it. Matrix references in movies are – by far – one of the oldest and most used movie tropes out there. And it’s a reference that is now old enough to legally drink. Why on earth would we think kids would get this or find it funny? Hell, why do you think adults would find it funny?
4. No Cameos
This could’ve been a good chance for LeBron to flex his celebrity muscle while also making good with fans of the original movie. Maybe a Michael Jordan or at very least a Bill Murray. Or… at very very least… they could’ve given my guy Jim Rome a cameo. People forget, but he had a role in the first one. But instead, all we got was a Michael B. Jordan cameo – which made for a pretty stale joke that I’m sure went over many kid’s heads. Cool to see MBJ show some self awareness and play into that joke from his end, but I was still wanting an MJ payoff at some point in the movie. But nope. I mean, this movie didn’t even have an actual cameo from Anthony Davis, Draymond Green, Damian Lillard, or any of the other players who made up the Goon Squad. More like LeBron Lames, amirite?!
3. Don’t Sleep On That Soundtrack
No, I mean that literally.
Because it’s boring enough to put you to sleep. With the first movie’s soundtrack, it was essentially a 5th Jock Jams album with the number of bangers it produced. But this one? I don’t think I can name one. Maybe Lil Uzi Vert’s sampling of Pump Up The Jam (which is pretty dope)? But the rest are *shrug emoji*
2. What Sport Were They Playing?
And don’t even try to tell me it was basketball. It was not basketball. It was some sport Dom James made up. I know LeBron stans will try and say coming down from a 1002 point defecit at halftime is impressive, but how do we know that? That could be a typical score in this game. It’s like NFL Blitz. If you trail by 30, that’s nothing. Because you know the computer is going to aid you to a comeback to make the game closer.
1. Not To Get Nitpicky, But…
This might be the definition of picking nits, but when Dom James hugged his dad on the court towards the end of the game, it should’ve been called a foul.
Look, I’m sorry if I sound like a “hater” as LeBron referenced in the movie. But I’m sorry if I expected more out of this franchise. It’s not hard to make a culturally relevant movie that’s fun for both kids and adults alike. Pixar does it every 6 months. This movie could’ve been that.
Now look, I’m not going to wrap up this review without offering some praise for this movie. There was something I feel like they nailed: the fact that LeBron’s son joined forces with a team with way more talent than his own. I mean, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?
Also, was anyone else picking up on the strong sexual tension between LeBron and Lola?