An indulging, overlong garish commercial attempting to capitalize on a new generation for what brought Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes together in a lighthearted, if silly manner is a case of blatant green-lighting.
Space Jam: A New Legacy will have a showdown very similar to its 1997 when the Toon Squad met the Goon Squad as the latest Jordan incarnation LeBron James (a four-time NBA champ) takes center stage.
Malcolm D. Lee (Night School) takes the reins here where GCI and sound effects will often mar what includes amusing cameos and gags about the Akron, Ohio superstar’s incredible career (turning pro from high school).
Unity and realizing aspirations are confronted with product placement and corporate synergy as the ‘green screen’ spirals into play once the requisite ‘origin’ stuff is completed, along with a meeting with studio executives about a lucrative partnership.
A father-and-son dynamic lays the groundwork for a script as James’ son Dom has a yearning for programming video games as his almost finished “Domball” demonstrates. Triple points can be earned for style especially when ‘posterizing’ (dunking on) an opponent.
Six scenarists come up with a dilemma for James as Dom and him are transported into the ‘server verse’. Its manifestation or algorithm (sorry) AIG Rhythm (Don Cheadle, going through the necessary motions) tells James he remain trapped there forever or compete in a tournament for Dom’s sake
A cinematic universe has to be traversed for the crucial recruitment as plenty of nods like DC Comics, The Wizard of OZ, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones are made. The earlier cartoonish antics morph into a traditional form in the hand-drawn representations alongside Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Lola Bunny, and the rest in Tune World.
This New Legacy really doesn’t jam even with insertions into studio properties like Austin Powers The Matrix and Mad Max: Fury Road as AIG. Rhythm cajoles Dom feeling a bit jaded from his dad. A twisty digitization can be an unfriendly turbo-ride as spectators include The Flintstones, King Kong, and members of Scooby Doo, besides a dancing ‘Pennywise’. Will the primary demographic have an inkling of the droods from A Clockwork Orange?
An example of not embracing the fundamentals (like teamwork) in favor of the conglomerate won’t matter to those fond of their favorite toons or glimpsing their NBA idols like Damian Lillard or Anthony Davis (‘The Brow’). James isn’t about to come close to a triple-double in this glorified, highly caffeinated conceit with more than its share of rough patches where a time-out would have been welcomed Lee and his cohorts have been swept up in what has befell many superheroes and reboots in a one-note manipulation without collecting any emotional fun rebounds.