All they had to do was have LeBron James play basketball with the Looney Tunes and some cartoon alien monsters. Yet somehow what they did is even more cynical than that pandering nostalgia fix.
Have a look with the trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy, the most misguided, convoluted, corporate interpretation possible for what a sequel to Space Jam would look like.
Instead of just having James mug to the camera and hang out with Daffy Duck and Bill Murray, the film takes this dramatic approach that sees the son James is pressuring into basketball abducted. The culprit? Don Cheadle, the self-described digital “king” of WarnerMedia’s futuristic server cloud. NBA star King James will not see his son again unless he plays a basketball game of King Cheadle’s design, which is a really weird way to go with this.
James is sent to the Tune sector and teams up with Bugs and the crew, and it seems like maybe the premise is getting relatively back on track. Nope!
Soon after, it’s becomes a truly bizarre intellectual property parade hosted by WarnerMedia. The Iron Giant—Ready Player One’s harbinger of shitty pop culture mashups—stomps in, and with his comes characters from just about every other Warner-owned brand you can imagine. The Hanna-Barbera crew, a Game of Thrones dragon, The Mask, Jack Nicholson’s Joker, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze—nothing is off limits, in the most insane way. It’s Pennywise is in this. A Clockwork Orange’s Droogs bring a bit of the old ultraviolence to fucking Space Jam. Absolutely deranged.
The Tune Squad aren’t even properly cartoons by the big game. Just a terrible exercise in Space Jamming altogether.
Find out whether LeBron James’s son will become Don Cheadle’s child sex slave or whatever that’s about when Space Jam: A New Legacy hits theaters and HBO Max July 16.