I admit that I enjoyed the original "Space Jam" movie when it came out in its day, but I also have to admit that during the subsequent 25+ years that have passed since then, my viewpoint of it has diminshed substantially; I now see that it greatly betrayed its classic characters and had them act in a way contrary to their classic images.
However, I will give the original SJ this: It is a MUCH better movie than this "Did anyone want this?" follow-up. Where to begin? Well, here's a list of some things about this follow-up that rubbed me the wrong way:
- The toon characters are written in an extremely shallow manner - they hardly show any personality or depth. Any one of their classic seven minute cartoons showed more of them than this almost two hour movie
- They cut out Pepe LePew from the movie for politically correct reasons, even though anyone with half a brain will see that LePew is such a broad character that's it's hard to take him and his viewpoint seriously.
- The voice artists for the toon characters are extremely amateurish. Now I know that voice artist Mel Blanc is long dead, but you would think that by now, Warner Brothers would have found some adequate replacements.
- There is no warmth in the narrative or the characters. Yes, this is supposed to be a wild raucous comedy, but you have to still have heart so the audience will care about the characters and what they are going through.
- The relentless bombardment of plugs for various Warner Brothers IP properties is so extreme that it goes beyond embarrassing and becomes shameless.
- The movie feels both too slow (such as with setting up the whole basketball challenge) and too fast (lack of character development, lack of explaining how things are in a certain situation, etc.)
- The decision to turn the classic Looney Tunes characters into CGI creatations for much of the movie, instead of their classic hand drawn style.
I could go on, but those above points are the biggest beefs I had with this travesty. Is there anything GOOD to say about this fiasco? Well, I will admit that the movie is more technically accomplished than the first movie. There are a few small gags here and there that did make me chuckle a little. Also, the live action cast does work hard despite the shabby script given to them (even LeBron James puts in a great effort, and manages to be adequate.) It's hard to believe this movie took SIX writers to put together, but it's easy to believe that this is a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth.