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‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ – Review

‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ – Review

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Get ready for the slam because NBA all-star LeBron James and legendary animation rascal Bugs Bunny are back and ready to bring the jam together in Space Jam: A New Legacy. And this all-new film puts a brand new spin on the Space Jam universe and it makes for a whole lot of fun.

When basketball champion and global icon LeBron James and his youngest son Dom (Cedric Joe) – who dreams of being a video game developer rather than follow his father’s footsteps – find themselves trapped in Serververse, a virtual space ruled by a rogue A.I. named Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle), LeBron must save his son and get them home safely by leading Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to win a basketball match against Al-G’s digitized champions on the court, the Goon Squad: a team of powered-up virtual avatars of professional basketball stars as you’ve never seen them before. It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest-stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself.

When it comes to animated movies, 1996’s Space Jam has a very special place in my heart and I was very intrigued as to what direction we’d be taken in Space Jam: A New Legacy, and after watching then movie I can confirm that this sequel is so much fun and amps up the excitement and exhilaration that we saw in the first film. Director Malcolm D. Lee takes audiences inside an awesome new adventure as NBA legend LeBron James is sucked into cyberspace and finds himself in the ServerVerse we’re he’s forced into a high stakes basketball game to rescue his son and Lee makes this a film that the whole family will love.

NBA high flyer LeBron James takes his ball game to the big screen this time in Space Jam: A New Legacy and he absolutely brings the slam. Portraying a fictionalized version of himself, LeBron’s one of the most successful ball players of all time, but his focus on winning and perfection hasn’t let him open to the needs of his kids, and he’s a bit out of touch when it comes to their own dreams. But when he gets sucked into ServerVerse he’s gotta put it all on the line, and this means it’s time to take a new approach to the game of basketball. And this all-star has to really mix it up this time.

As with everything, LeBron gives everything to this performance and he makes for a really good performer. His acting is on point, and he balances both the film’s heavy drama and off-beat comedy with grace and ease. It’s clear from watching this film that LeBron had a lot of fun making it, and whether he’s his fully rendered 3D-self, or jet setting about as a 2D animated character and getting Looney in Tune World, audiences will love what he brings to the role. Then there’s his stance as a basketball player, and while he’s an absolute legend on the court he soon has to learn a brand new game, and it’s pretty damn cool to see him ball in the ServerVerse, where the normal rules don’t apply and the visuals gets crazy!

Facing off against LeBron is the ever-dependable Don Cheadle as Al-G-Rhythm, a rogue computer algorithm who has a desire to use LeBron for his own diabolical ends for world domination. And it’s clear that Cheadle had a blast bringing this kooky villain to life. While Al-G-Rhythm might be a dangerous AI, he’s also a complete kook, and Cheadle showcases a laugh-out-loud sense of comedic timing that will appeal to both kids and parents alike. Best described as a fast-talking, manipulative bad guy, with a serious chip on his shoulder, Al-G-Rhythm is a perfect villain for LeBron and the Tunes to take on this time and Cheadle gives him a classic sense of cartoon villainy that raises the stakes for this movie.

The Tunes are also back this time and I can confirm that it’s an absolute joy to get to spend more time with them again. All your favourites are here and accounted for. Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Granny, Tweety and Sylvester, along with Taz, and get ready to get Looney because we’re in their world now. But there’s a big twist coming for the Tunes this time as they go fully 3D and this takes the animation and action of Space Jam: A New Legacy to a completely new level. It’s a blast to see the Tunes on the court again, and with the presence of LeBron and the new rules of the ServerVerse the results are very fun to watch unfold.

A massive contributing factor to the success of Space Jam: A New Legacy comes from the presence of the ServerVerse. This giant cyberspace installation is a collection point for all your favourite Warner Brothers films and it’s fun to see LeBron and the tunes travel through different genres and classic movie moments. From Rick’s Cafe Americain in the 1942 classic Casablanca to the bullet-time slow motion of The Matrix, to the superheroics of the DC Universe and the sheer hilarity of Tune World, all of it is on display here, and film fans will love the shoutouts that are present in this film.

The court action of Space Jam: A New Legacy is also on point in this film, and this time around LeBron James has to learn a brand new type of game. While he might be a wizard in the confines of the NBA, the rules of the ServerVerse operate on a whole new level and the code game stylings of this new basketball lead into plenty of comedy and a new style of game. The presence of power-ups and style points keep things interesting and LeBron and the tunes have to get inventive this time thanks to this new type of game. The out of this world animation of Space Jam: A New Legacy will also have your eyes wide open and this film is a complete visual spectacle.

So buckle up and get ready to jump back onto the court because LeBron and the Tunes are ready to rock it in Space Jam: A New Legacy, and its winner takes all this time, in this, the absolute best family-friendly release of this year…and this is one film that the whole family is gonna love. Oh yeah, it’s time to bring the slam!

Image: Warner Brothers Pictures