Movie review: LeBron James adding to his legacy with new Space Jam

Warning spoilers for Space Jam: A New Legacy ahead.

It feels like it’s been talked about forever and it’s finally here.

Space Jam: A New Legacy was announced six months after LeBron James took his talents to Los Angeles and became a Laker and now seems destined to be a sign of what his post-playing career vocation in Hollywood will be: Not taking himself too seriously, having serious underlying messages in his storytelling and using his platform to incorporate his friends and partners in an uplifting way.

This new Space Jam film brings together James and the Looney Tunes due to an evil, A.I. system – the Warner Bros. “server-verse” run by the villain of the film Al-G Rhythm, who is played by Don Cheadle. The server-verse is a computer that contains the archive of the studio’s former films and Al-G Rhythm has been created by the studio to increase its revenue.

The setup of the film stems from a pitch meeting that’s comical because it depicts terrible sounding pitches not too far from what I assume James and his team field all the time, “LeBron of Thrones” is suggested as an example, Cheadle’s character isn’t impressed with the fact that James rejects the studio pitch ideas using his name, image, and likeness in their properties.

This turn of events upsets the A.I. to the point that he uses the tension between James’ son in the film, Cedric Joe, against him.

As a father, James is assuming his son will follow his footsteps in basketball and he can live vicariously through him, but his kin is more interested in creating a video game instead of playing sports. The climax of the film is a son vs. father title game in the animated Looney Tunes world that Al-G concocts to force James to entertain his ideas or lose his son.

The nostalgia of watching Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn and Marvin the Martian do their thing takes adult viewers back to their childhood even though the goal of the film is to introduce those characters in a new way to new audiences. Appearances from Superman, King Kong, Voldemort, and Ilsa Lund from Casablanca weren’t expected, but added to the dream team of characters in the film.

Throughout the film, there’s an onslaught of characters that appeared to be specifically aimed at adults from beloved Warner Bros. movies.

There are blockbuster film series cameos from classics like A Clockwork OrangeThe Matrix and more alongside the characters you’d expect to see such as Speedy Gonzalez portrayed by Gabriel Iglesias and Lola Bunny expertly voiced by Emmy award winner Zendaya.

Throughout the film expect to see and hear pop-culture catchphrases that may amuse — if you’re cool enough to recognize them that is.

The Easter-egg humour aimed at adults is the real star of the film and is accompanied with the traditional slap-stick cartoon comedy you’d expect from a film feauturing the Looney Tunes that toggle from laugh-in-your-head chuckles to laugh-out-loud and slap-your-knee funny.

Published By : Sportsnet

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