The first reviews for LeBron James’ Space Jam reboot are now in, but they’re not the slam dunk he and Warner Bros had hoped for.
“Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which hits theaters Friday and on HBO Max, has been labeled an “abomination” and an “apocalyptic horror” by critics.
Early reviews have also criticized the film studio for having “vomited out all of their intellectual property” by injecting almost every other Warner Bros character into the film, as well as the Looney Tune characters from the original.
Essentially, the film — directed by Malcolm D. Lee — centers on NBA legend LeBron James and his efforts to form a basketball team with several animated Looney Tunes characters to save his son, played by Cedric Joe, from an evil computer algorithm.
The villain in this movie is Al G. Rhythm, played by Don Cheadle.
LeBron James’ ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’, which debuts in theaters and on HBO Max Friday, has been labeled by critics as an ‘abomination’ and an ‘apocalyptic horror’
Vox’s Alissa Wilkinson described the film as an ‘apocalyptic horror’
The film, which had a reported budget of approximately $150 million and serves as a sequel to the original 1996 film starring Michael Jordan, also features an array of other characters, including King Kong, Willy Wonka, Austin Powers, and the Mask. .
The Hollywood reporterFrank Scheck said the introduction of so many characters was only meant to appeal to the Warner Bros. marketing department.
“It all feels like Warner Bros. ingested an emetic and vomited up all their intellectual property,” he wrote in his review.
“Space Jam: A New Legacy comes 25 years later than the original, which didn’t come as much of a shock to begin with, and doesn’t live up to its grandiose, overly optimistic title.”
THR’s review also focused on LeBron, saying, “Another problem is that James lacks the charismatic appeal of Jordan, who, while not an actor, anchored the previous film with his sheer sympathy.”
LeBron basically talks about his lack of acting in the film while talking to studio executives. It is also the scene where his son is kidnapped by Al G. Rhythm.
‘I’m a ball player. And athletes who act — it never goes well,” says LeBron.
The New York Post’s Johnny Oleksinski called the film an “abomination” and said it was “in the pantheon of misguided sequels and reboots.”
The New York PostJohnny Oleksinski said, “That’s especially true for cardboard James.”
Oleksinski called the film an “abomination” and said he was up there “in the pantheon of misguided sequels and reboots.”
The original 1996 ‘Space Jam’ wasn’t top notch either, but made money at the box office. So the money-guzzling Warner Bros. took 25 years to launch a sequel that’s much, much worse. And they know it,” he wrote, adding that it was “nothing more than a forgettable nostalgic bait.”
The Daily BeastKevin Fallon said the sequel ruined his childhood memories of the first film.
“After 25 years of looking forward to the Space Jam sequel, we instead got ugly effects, gross corporate synergy and two hours of LeBron James learning what an algorithm is,” he wrote.
“I’m proud to be able to judge things like this on a curve. It’s a big blockbuster. It is intended to appeal to children. Business opportunism will catch the eye. But you can still do that with a sense of fun and style. Even recently, Cruella did just that.
“I was shocked by how cynical it all was. The animation and effects were confusingly ugly.
“The whole thing, and I can’t believe my career has gotten to the point where I’m going to type these words, misses everything that was magical about the spirit of Space Jam.”
Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast said the sequel ruined his childhood memories of the first movie
Vulture‘s Bilge Ebiri said: ‘It fills a two-hour gap in the schedule, which will keep the parents happy, and it waves the brand, which will keep the shareholders happy.
“Whether or not it could have been a good film has perhaps not occurred to anyone.”
Vox’ Alissa Wilkinson described the film as an “apocalyptic horror,” while NPR’s Aisha Harris called the film “the ultimate vanity project.”
And Weekly entertainmentMary Sollosi said, “Here’s the thing about basketball: it’s extremely watchable. Here’s the thing about Space Jam: A New Legacy: It’s not.’
The Chicago Sun Times review, written by Richard Roeper, said the film couldn’t be unseen.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Roeper said. “I hope I never see anything like it again, and I wish I couldn’t see what I’ve seen.
LeBron says it’s a terrible idea, one of the worst ideas he’s ever heard, and he turns down the pitch — and then the film follows the exact same path after acknowledging it’s a terrible concept.
“Except for a few clever one-liners and visual gags, it’s more exhausting than entertaining.”
The reboot currently has a ‘Rotten’ rating of 37 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.