Space Jam: A New Legacy

From Qualitipedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
NOTE: This page is dedicated to the late Indonesian voice actor of Al-G Rhythm, Richard M.R.Toelle (August 14, 1977 - February 6, 2024 (who voiced MrBeast and Jax from The Amazing Digital Circus). May he rest in piece.
ALTIN.png

This is a featured article!
This article has been reviewed by one of our Staff as one of the best articles on the Qualitipedia Wiki.

Space Jam: A New Legacy
SpaceJamANewLegacy.jpg
You may think this is a good movie at first, but when you look at this page, well, then... in other words, just sing with me!
"C-C-C-Come on and SLAM!
This movie's not a JAM!"
It's HBO Max: The Movie!
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee
Produced By: Ryan Coogler
LeBron James
Maverick Carter
Duncan Henderson
Written By/Screenplay: Juel Taylor
Tony Rettenmaier
Keenan Coogler
Terence Nance
Jesse Gordon
Celeste Ballard
Based On: Space Jam by Leo Benvenuti & Steve Rudnick and Timothy Harris & Hershel Weingrod
Starring: LeBron James
Don Cheadle
Khris Davis
Sonequa Martin-Green
Zendaya
Jeff Bergman
Eric Bauza
Cinematography: Salvatore Tontino
Music By: Kris Bowers
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: July 12, 2021 (Los Angeles)
July 16, 2021 (United States)
Runtime: 115 minutes
Budget: $150 million
Box Office: $163.7 million
Franchise: Looney Tunes
Prequel: Space Jam (chronology)
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (release order)
Sequel: Coyote vs. ACME (release order)

Space Jam: A New Legacy is a 2021 American live-action/animated sports comedy film produced by The SpringHill Company and Proximity and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures through its Warner Animation Group banner. The film was directed by Malcolm D. Lee from a screenplay by Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Keenan Coogler, Terence Nance, Jesse Gordon, and Celeste Ballard, and a story by Taylor, Rettenmaier, Coogler, and Nance. The film is the third standalone film in the Looney Tunes series and serves as a standalone sequel (and is based on) the 1996 film Space Jam. The film was released on July 16, 2021, to mainly negative reviews citing its plot, dialogue, and massive representation of WarnerMedia IP.

Plot

Superstar LeBron James and his young son, Dom, get trapped in digital space by a rogue AI. To get home safely, LeBron teams up with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang for a high-stakes basketball game against the AI's digitized champions of the court -- a powered-up roster called the Goon Squad.

Why It's NOT Looney, a New Legacy, NOR a Jam

  1. To get the bunny out of the rabbit hole: Much like Ralph Breaks the Internet, the major problem with the film and the main reason why it failed, is that it mostly serves as an excuse for Warner Bros. to self-promote their properties rather than being a real movie with an actual story or plot. It's honestly very worrying to see how many studios (except for some like Pixar, DreamWorks/Illumination, or Sony Pictures Animation) are now more invested in setting up shared universes and filling up their movies with Easter eggs, pop-culture references, and cameos because that's what the movie is more focused on. This is what Ralph Breaks the Internet did with its controversial "Oh My Disney scene", except there, it only took up that one scene; while this, literally took up at least 80% of the entire movie which is way too far. Unfortunately for us, it is all this film has to offer, because like the aforementioned Ralph Breaks the Internet or the Star Wars sequels, this is a movie that doesn't feel made by their directors, but by its studios and there a HUGE difference between those two!
  2. The worst part is that it was only made as a huge cash grab and existed so Warner could promote their new streaming service, HBO Max (or just the Warner catalog in general), which led to many people jokingly calling it "HBO Max: The Movie". The producers denied this, however, but it is still obvious anyway.
    • The irony of this is that the very next year, HBO Max began to cancel or strip away many of its shows from its platform, some of which were promoted in the movie itself.
  3. Compared to Ralph Breaks the Internet, that film at least had a story and it didn't have to be too reliant on self-promotion (except for the advertising and merchandise); while this movie isn't, it only exists to promote these properties minus about less than 15 minutes of it.
  4. The film has been in development hell for 25 years after the original movie, which is way too late and long to do a sequel.
    • Sequels must come out 2 to 4 years after the original and anything after that time is considered too late. Think about Dumb and Dumber To, one of the reasons that the movie failed is because it came out two decades after the original.
    • Unlike Top Gun: Maverick, Bad Boys for Life, Bill & Ted Face The Music, Toy Story 3 (alongside the fourth, and the upcoming fifth movie), Candyman (2021), Finding Dory, The Godfather Part III (especially it's recut film The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone) Rocky Balboa (and the Creed films), The Color of Money, Incredibles 2, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Rescuers Down Under, and Blade Runner 2049 (all of which are far better movies), it doesn't even follow any of the techniques that made it a worthy 20+ year sequel in the first place (despite said film coming out later), and only exists to nostalgia-bait fans of both the first movie and Looney Tunes.
  5. The film's premise is about how LeBron must help the Looney Tunes to play and beat Al-G Rhythm in a climactic basketball game to get his son, Dom, back only because LeBron said Al's algorithm was bad is rather very dumb and generic.
  6. The movie makes LeBron unlikable to his son, manipulating him to be an athlete instead of what he wants to be which is a video game creator, Which is annoying to the audience. Since LeBron is unlikable to his son, he also treats Bugs like garbage because he's using the Looney Tunes characters for LeBron's basketball team instead of characters LeBron wanted like Superman and The Iron Giant.
  7. There are lots of unnecessary filler moments in this movie, especially with dozens of pointless subplots that come out of nowhere.
  8. There's another bigger problem with the Looney Tunes themselves: They don't have real motivation or reason to join the Tune Squad and win the big game. In the previous movie, they were forced to play with and recruit Michael Jordan because their freedom was at stake, and if they lost, they would be imprisoned by the aliens; but here. They join the Tune Squad for LeBron just like that and the real stake comes right before the basketball game starts and it's very predictable at worst: If the Toon Squad loses, they will be permanently deleted.
    • Adding onto this problem, it doesn't seem as if the film properly understands the Looney Tunes series, as the characters act more happy and goofy than usual when not doing their signature scenes or catchphrases, Bugs Bunny calls the whole cast his family despite including people like Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam who often try to harm him, and the design of Tune World incorporates elements of Planet X from the cartoon "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century" despite it portraying Planet X as a separate planet.
  9. Just like Son of the Mask, the humor isn't all that hilarious and lacks the first film's quirky and self-heartedness humor. Instead, a lot of the jokes are just slapstick at best and fart jokes and immature toilet humor at worst, which is very disappointing because this is a movie that heavily involves the Looney Tunes, a series known for good humor.
  10. There are multiple rather pointless moments throughout the movie, like several intervals in the different Warner Bros worlds and a rap battle with Porky, in which case, this movie tries way too hard to be hip and cool with the kids, which is odd.
  11. The designs for the Goon Squad look unconvincing, with them looking more like Fortnite rejects instead.
  12. The idea of using media, like many of Warner’s characters and worlds that don't have anything to do with the Looney Tunes-related could be somewhat confusing for some viewers. It feels like it is trying to be like Kingdom Hearts and Super Smash Bros. except the properties used in Kingdom Hearts and Super Smash Bros. still go well together. Even Warner's new MultiVersus game, which was released a year after this, did a better job than this movie.
  13. When Warner self-promotes its properties in many of their movies, it's usually nothing more than a harmless DC reference. But here, they took it way too far with things like Casablanca, Austin Powers, Harry Potter, Mad Max, The Matrix, Game of Thrones, and even Rick and Morty.
  14. Speaking of WINLANLOAJ #13, The film features a cameo of titular characters in Rick and Morty, which hasn't aged well due to their voice actors Justin Roiland being fired from Cartoon Network and Adult Swim for his domestic abuse charges, two years ago after the film's release, although to be fair, this was the case of other pieces of media where celebrities and big names were revealed to be absolute monsters at the last minute, like Allison Mack (who's accused of sexual abuse involving NXIVM following the MeToo and Time's Up movement, and the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations) was featured a voice role as Lucas's older sister Tiffany Nickle in The Ant Bully, and Colleen Ballinger (who had been accused of acting inappropriate towards underage fans in past years) was featured a voice role as Roxxane in The Angry Birds Movie 2 and even Ballinger herself in Ralph Breaks the Internet.
    • Cartoon Network and its iconic characters (besides Space Ghost) aren't represented in the film despite being owned by WarnerMedia. Yet its sub-brand Adult Swim had its one representative make it through the movie somehow.
  15. Likewise, the idea of having some R-rated and TV-MA characters in a PG-rated movie such as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, Agent Smith, Rick and Morty (as already mentioned in #12 and #13), and Alex DeLarge and his Droogs from A Clockwork Orange, can be unconvincing toward younger audiences.
  16. The movie tries way too hard to shove as many pop culture references into our throats at the last minute, as it could, which ends up being very unoriginal and feels like a rehash of films such as Ready Player One, Tron and its sequel Tron Legacy, Ralph Breaks the Internet, The Lego Movie, and The Second Part, and even The Emoji Movie to some extent.
  17. The cameos during the climactic basketball game end up being quite distracting towards the viewer and they can pay more attention to the characters in the background than in the basketball game.
    • Also, the live-action character cameos look very poor and laughably bad; they look more like people you see in an SNL skit or extras dressed in Halloween costumes.
  18. False advertising: The trailers for the film depicted the Tunes as mostly CGI, but in the movie itself, they are mostly 2D animated. The reason for this is that Warner was most likely concerned about how audiences wouldn't be interested in seeing 2D animation in a family film anymore.
  19. The film literally can't even decide for its target audience whatsoever, as it overuses the word "hell" and "damn" (to secure a PG-rated and avoid the G rating), but has the Looney Tunes characters on it (which are mostly marketed towards children nowadays), since it feels more like a teenager or an adult film. There is even a scene where Al-G said a swear word that was bleeped out. The same can be said about certain cameos as already mentioned before like Pennywise, Rick and Morty, Alex, etc.
  20. The soundtrack, while good, contains most of the rap music that was way out-of-place and too generic for unfitting certain scenes.
  21. While Zendaya gives a decent voice performance, she was miscast as Lola Bunny. Lola's original voice actress, Kath Soucie, was reported to reprise her role and was finished voice recording; however, during the late post-production, when the first trailer was released in April 2021, it was reported that Zendaya was chosen instead for unknown reasons, most likely to get more people to watch it, and that is exactly the problem with these sequels and movie adaptations, where they recast an iconic voice actor for someone more famous without even informing the voice actors they were going to replace to get more views. Also, this isn't the first time that Lola Bunny's voice actress has been changed with a celebrity actress as Kristen Wiig also did this in The Looney Tunes Show (and did a good job of voicing her). This is the case in the point of sequels and reboots, like Scoob! where the iconic voice actors for Mystery Inc. members from the show Scooby-Doo were replaced with celebrities, except Frank Welker as Scooby-Doo himself, for no apparent reason at all, but to get people to watch it, which caused Matthew Lillard, and Grey DeLisle, the current voice actors of Shaggy and Daphne respectively being bummed out due to this.
  22. Continuing with the previous pointer, Malcolm D. Lee made a horrible decision to desexualize Lola. To make matters worse, he comes up with the abysmal "We had a strong independent female" excuse. Desexualizing Lola Bunny in a nutshell: It feels like the director takes the spirit of what made the original design of Lola in the first film so iconic, then he watches the original, grabs the DVD, throws it onto the ground, scratches it, wrecks the disc into pieces with a giant mallet, rips the original Lola design into pieces and says, "Let's destroy the character by desexualizing her!" "Good idea!" says the character designer.
  23. Gabriel Iglesias, while again giving a great voice performance as Speedy Gonzales, barely sounds like how he sounded in various Looney Tunes projects.
  24. While Jeff Bergman does a great vocal performance as Bugs Bunny, some people aren't thrilled about how Bergman voiced Bugs yet again. Despite being the first voice for the character after the late Mel Blanc's death, some fans believe his vocal performance has been in decline after he resumed his role in The Looney Tunes Show. Some hoped that Eric Bauza, who has been doing a masterful job voicing Bugs Bunny in Looney Tunes Cartoons, would play the role. Bauza does voice Daffy here, and he's also in Looney Tunes Cartoons, as well as Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, and Marvin the Martian.
  25. The fact Eric voiced Porky Pig here rather than his usual voice actor Bob Bergen (who still voices Tweety in here) also raised some eyebrows, especially since the latter has been his more consistent voice actor after the late Mel Blanc's passing.
  26. Pepe learning about consent could've easily been a great way to showcase how times have changed since he was introduced, instead of getting rid of him altogether (Even though the scene he was supposed to be in was already written out before the controversy). Even victims of sexual assault have pointed this out. There's even a joke about Pepe being written out of the franchise in the Animaniacs reboot, so you know there's an issue here.
    • Not only that but the scene where he was supposed to be had Pepe beaten up by the waitress for just flirting with her then Pepe being held by the neck by LeBron James while being taught about consent. This is just incredibly mean-spirited and made It look like the former creative team (under Terence Nance) found him some sexual predator, when that isn't his character, at all.
  27. If you look closely at the second trailer for the film, you see the scene where the Tune Squad wins the game for the final round and returns to 2D animated form, which spoils the ending, minus Bugs' fake death.
  28. It never explains how Bugs came back to life in the ending after he had a fake-out death sequence when he sacrificed himself to save his friends. Also, it never explains how his friends had teleported to the real world with him in the end credits. However, it was revealed that he survived because as a fictional character, he can't die and stay dead, unlike Al-G Rhythm and the Goon Squad.
  29. In the second half of the movie, during the start of climactic basketball gaming, there is so much CGI and special effects in the movie that it may look like they spent almost their entire $150 million budget on it.
  30. What would've insulted the fans further is that they removed most of the credits of the animators and the artists from the closing credits. For example, Vailskibum94 claimed in one of his videos that an artist for the film, Dave Alvarez (who also draws many Looney Tunes comic books currently), was completely removed from the credits, despite that he did plenty of work on the movie's character designs and backgrounds and even Alvarez himself admitted that he and his kids are mad about this. (see Redeeming Qualities: #12.)
  31. The unnecessary slow pacing is bad and seems weak and sloppy, It makes the movie hard to follow at times, with the runtime at 115 minutes. Making the movie feel boring at times.
  32. While the CGI looks decent on some of the Looney Tunes, it looks off on Porky and Lola. Porky looks like he's made from Play-Doh and Lola falls through the uncanny valley, the latter looking uncanny on even a few pieces of official merchandise. Also some of the facial expressions that Bugs makes look weird in CGI like when he says "Yikes" or when Bugs starts crying.
  33. There are plenty of continuity errors. For example, when LeBron and Dom drop into the Warner 3000 Serververse. LeBron asks him if he's okay, and he says, "I'm fine, Dad.", but his lips never move.
  34. The movie is inconsistent at times. For example, in the first movie, Jordan stayed live-action when he was in the animated world. but for the sequel, LeBron was 2D animated for half of the movie, which felt unnecessary, although it was somewhat justified since it was from Warner 3000 Serververse.
  35. While the visual effects are decent, it does have flaws. For example; the spectators in the climactic game have been said to resemble cosplayers on the green screen. Their flailing and stilted movements don’t help in the slightest.
  36. Abysmal direction by Malcolm D. Lee. Although he isn't an awful person since he directed (and sometimes wrote) good movies like The Best Man, The Best Man Holiday, and Girls Trip, he also directed some bad movies like Night School and the infamous Scary Movie 5 (which is a big red flag).
  37. Subpar production values for the most part.
  38. The performances from many of the live-action cast, except for the main villain, are painfully dreadful and suffer from a lack of passion, especially from LeBron James himself who has no energy with his performance and usually sounds bored most of the time, even when compared to Michael Jordan's acting in the first film. and it's very prominent with animated segments due to his low pitch and tendency to underact his performance, making him even harder to relate to as a main protagonist in general.
  39. Lots of plot holes, but it will take too long to introduce them.
  40. Continuing the topic of CGI, even if the Tunes are not involved with CGI. Sometimes it also looks uncanny when Al-G mocks LeBron during a conversation with Dom, Pete shows his crooked teeth, or Al-G transforms just to become tall enough for the basketball game.
  41. Besides all the Warner references, there is also blatant product placement such as the original Game Boy in the cold opening of the movie, which is LeBron's flashback. Nike, the three different brands of headphones, and all the horrible multiple social media references found throughout the movie.
  42. It almost ruined the reputation of the Looney Tunes franchise due to its negative reception and the way how Warner Bros. managed to botch the film altogether. Many projects after this film got canceled and Warner Bros Discovery as of now treats the brand as a massive joke nowadays considering how badly this film went down, since then, they've ignored the existence of this film and chosen to forget about it then, as plans for a third Space Jam film have never been planned and since the company nowadays have garnered a negative reputation for its poor management and disrespect towards its fanbase, it's safe to say that the Looney Tunes franchise has declined in quality because of this film and will never be as good as it once was.

Looney Qualities

  1. It does provide a great moral about not letting distractions prevent you from doing your best. The same can be said about how the "it's my way or the highway" idea is a bad idea.
  2. Cheadle's performance as AL-G Rhythm was really good.
  3. All of the Tunes (except Lola) were perfectly cast and their voice actors do a great job voicing them since they are still likable and are not flanderized, despite their campiness, and flaws throughout.
  4. The idea of a real-life basketball player going to play basketball with the Looney Tunes to save them is still a unique idea.
    • In fact, it might've even improved upon the original plot of the strong Looney Tunes enlisting Michael Jordan's help to defeat a big threat, by making it the other way around.
  5. Similar to Sonic the Hedgehog, the CGI and traditional animation for the Looney Tunes are both very decent (exceptions apply).
  6. The new Tune Squad and Goon Squad jersey designs do look good.
  7. The Warner 3000 Serververse is an interesting virtual realm despite the poor execution.
  8. Despite the flaws, the cinematography is gorgeous and well done for a Warner Animation Group film.
  9. Speaking of WINLANLOAJ#24, the visual effects are still decent and can shine in certain parts of the film.
  10. Sometimes, the pop culture references can work in this movie's favor (well, when and if you can see what's going on).
  11. There are some good moments such as Bugs mimicking Elmer by transforming into Big Chungus (despite seemingly being there to meme pander) and the Nerdlucks making a cameo appearance as "Goon Squad" supporters (despite the animation being reused footage).
  12. As mentioned in WINLANLOAJ #28, The film and Warner Bros. apologized on Twitter for not crediting some animators and thanked most of the artists who worked on the film, especially Alvarez.
    • And since this is a Looney Tunes movie, there are a few funny moments (despite most of the humor being off for Looney Tunes standards) such as the scene when the Tunes start training for basketball.
  13. It brought back Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam’s guns as an improvement over the temporary ban on Looney Tunes Cartoons.
  14. After two films of being interrupted while saying the line, Porky finally gets his chance to say "That's all, folks!" at the end of the credits.
  15. There are some funny lines such as "What in the Matrix hell?", "I'm shorter than Kevin Hart!" "It's been 25 years, I thought he aged gracefully.", "Witness Me!" and “Son of a glitch”.
  16. The credits show the Tunes being placed on various live-action pictures which is a nice touch, despite the social media product placement.
  17. Good soundtrack with some legit bops like notably, "We Win", "Control The World", "See Me Fly", "Just For Me", "Mercy", "My Guy", and "The Best". Even though most of the soundtrack is reliant on rap music.
  18. Say what you want, but the scene where Bugs sacrifices himself in the basketball game was rather emotional. His brief moment of death is pretty heartbreaking to those who grew up with Looney Tunes complete with Bugs using Porky's signature "That's all, folks!" before passing away.
  19. Despite LeBron being unlikable as mentioned above, he does get some character development and doesn't treat Dom or The Tunes like rubbish by the end of the film.
    • He was also expected to be unlikable at first and that was something that the movie was starting with.
  20. At first, this movie was expected to be good in something so it created a lot of cool merchandise.

Reception

Just like the first film, Space Jam: A New Legacy wasn't well-received by critics, who criticized its screenplay, an excessive amount of product placement by the studio, and a lack of the original film's quirky and self-referential humor. However, unlike the original film, the audience reactions were more mixed, and the animation, visual effects and acting were well received, Some fans claimed it was a great installment to the first film, while others dismissed it as an unwanted, bad, and very disappointing installment. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 25% based on 220 reviews with an average rating of 4.5/10. The website's critics' consensus reads: "Despite LeBron James' best efforts to make a winning team out of the Tune Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy trades the zany, meta humor of its predecessor for a shameless and tired exercise in IP-driven branding.", however, it has a verified audience score of 79%, with Audiences Says consensus reading: "LeBron James probably won't win any acting awards, but this is an entertaining all-ages movie with solid animation, a positive message for kids, and fun cameos for older viewers.". According to Metacritic, which assigned a weighted average score of 36 out of 100 based on 29 critics, the film received "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, the same as the first film, while PostTrak reported 78% of audience members gave it a positive score, with 58% saying they would recommend it. On IMDb, the film got a score of 4.4/10. On Letterboxd, the film has a user score of 2.0/5.

Joe Pytka, the director of the original Space Jam, expressed his hatred towards the film upon its release. Among his complaints, Pytka compared LeBron James to Michael Jordan, who was arguably the most celebrity when the first film was released in comparison to James, criticized the story for not tying up emotionally to LeBron's life, felt the first film's cast and soundtrack were superior to the ones of A New Legacy and saw Bugs' role in the film as "heartbreaking". Pytka had earlier criticized Warner’s decision to make a Space Jam sequel in 2016 back when Justin Lin was attached to direct, dismissing the notion as "ridiculous" despite working with LeBron and Steph Curry, feeling that neither of them was a "transcendent figure" like Jordan.

Angry Joe gave this movie a 2/10 and added this one to his "Top 10 Worst Movies Of 2021" video.

Penguinz0 (formerly known as Cr1TiKaL) gave this movie a 25% on his moist meter video and even added this one in his "The Worst 5 Movies Of 2021" video and claims that the movie feels like watching a "one long advertisement" due to the number of product placements found.

Box office

As of October 7, 2021, Space Jam: A New Legacy has grossed $70.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $93.1 million in international territories, totaling the worldwide gross to $163.7 million.

Awards

At the 42nd Golden Raspberry Awards, Space Jam: A New Legacy won Worst Actor for James, Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel, and Worst Screen Combo for James and "any Warner cartoon character (or Time-Warner product) he dribbles on". It was nominated for Worst Picture (becoming the second prominently animated film to be nominated since The Emoji Movie), but lost to Diana: The Musical.

Videos

Trailers

Reviews

External Links

Comments

Loading comments...