Space Jam: A New Legacy: Self-Aware Sequel a Looney Delight

3 out of 5 stars (average)

Space Jam: A New Legacy is a really fun family movie.  Based on my audience, kids are going to go nuts for the slapstick antics of Bugs Bunny and friends, and grown Space Jam fans will have a blast too.  It takes 20 minutes to rev up and the attempted emotional core is forced, but to me, it’s an entertaining sequel.  Space Jam: A New Legacy begins on shaky ground, but becomes a fun, largely family-friendly romp once the Tunes appear.

NBA superstar LeBron James (played and voiced by himself) has a strained relationship with his video-game-loving son Dom (newcomer Cedric Joe).  The two get absorbed into a digital universe by the sentient A.I. Al G Rhythm (Don Cheadle turned up to 11) who wants to beat LeBron in a basketball game streamed to all of his social media followers (yes really).  Sent to Tune World, LeBron recruits Bugs, Daffy, and the gang for an epic showdown while becoming a better man and father.

Ironically like some basketball teams, Space Jam: A New Legacy starts off bad, but improves as the game (film) progresses.  LeBron James is a decent voice actor (he’s a cartoon for act 2), but is clearly uncomfortable interacting with other real actors and green screens.  The kids in my audience were restless during the live-action scenes, but enjoyed the Tune antics, while I and the other adults dug the film references that flew over their heads.  The hand-drawn animation is gorgeous and energetic, and Don Cheadle is totally unhinged.  The final 3rd overstays its welcome and has several shots of film characters from non-family-friendly movies, but kids will be mesmerized by the wackiness onscreen.    Space Jam: A New Legacy is a worthy follow-up that should satisfy longtime fans and entertain the new generation.  See Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Rated PG for Some Cartoon Violence and Some Language

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