Belief in Flight – Space Jam (1996)

That’s so 90’s.  So when aliens show up in the Looney Tunes universe, they want to enslave everybody’s favorite animated personalities to work at their amusement park for the rest of eternity.  They’re small aliens, so Bugs Bunny challenges them to a game of basketball.  The aliens go to Earth and steal the talents of the NBA’s very best, and all of the sudden they aren’t so small anymore and have adopted the moniker the Monstars.  Michael Jordan has shifted his attention from basketball to baseball, but he has to come out of retirement to help save the Tunes.  This is a very hard movie not to like.  Everybody I know is fond of the Looney Tunes, and unless you’re a die hard Utah Jazz fan, you probably like Michael Jordan as well.  It’s live action meets animation in the same vein as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and while the animation may not necessarily hold up entirely, it’s still always a fun time.

1What’s not to like?

Space Jam is cheesy, but it is so fast moving, it is infectious.  Not every single joke lands, but it uses the mindset of “let’s throw everything against the wall and see what sticks”, so you end up remembering the positives far more than the negatives.  It’s inspired, and I do like the concept behind it all.  I do have to say one thing, and it may not be the most popular of opinions: Michael Jordan is not a good actor.  He shows up, but he’s just an athlete that ends up being more of a prop than an actor, and the cartoons do all of the heavy lifting.  I don’t know how relevant the Looney Tunes are anymore, but I really am not opposed at all for a Space Jam 2 starring LeBron James, and that is largely because he has already proven himself to be the better actor.  You don’t need to look any further than Trainwreck to see his comedic timing and capabilities, and he has the star power so that people would actually want to watch this movie, regardless if you love him or love to hate him.

2Search your feelings, you know it to be true.

This is less of a movie and more of an experience.  It’s for sugar loaded kids more than anything, and it moves so fast that you don’t really have time to question anything.  On top of all that, there’s also these Jock Jams from the 1990’s featured throughout, and they help to give it this a palpable kinetic energy.  It’s absurd, but I don’t know what else you would be expecting from a cartoon of this nature.

Space Jam (1996) ***1/2

– Critic for Hire

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