25 years after the original film’s release, “Space Jam: A New Era” opened in theaters last week.
The two-hour film stars active basketball legend LeBron James, along with other NBA and WNBA superstars and classic Looney Tunes, and was perfectly done in my opinion. It has just the right dose of entertainment and fun with some realistic twists and great little references for basketball fans looking to enjoy a remake of the 1990s Michael Jordan starring film.
Let me be clear: I am far from being a film critic. In fact, as I walked into the room, I couldn’t even remember what was the last movie I saw in general, let alone in a theater. I’m just a basketball fan who really enjoyed the first Space Jam and couldn’t wait for the remake with the superstar I grew up watching play.
With that said, this “review” contains some spoilers, but I promise to be as careful as possible for people who haven’t seen the movie yet.
Here are my nine observations on “Space Jam: A New Era”:
1. The introductory video
I’m not kidding in writing this – the movie’s opening intro video is worth the price of the cinema for those who are truly NBA fans.
To set the mood for a film starring LeBron James, what better choice than to excite audiences with a well-executed rundown of the career highlights of one of the greatest players of all time?
Beginning with his beginnings of school basketball at St. Vincent St. Mary’s, the introductory video goes through all the great events of James’ career. The best part? There is a little comic effect on the best plays of him to put everyone in “Space Jam mode”. It honestly left me speechless and I can’t wait for the video to hit the internet and social media to watch it again.
2. LeBron James: the actor
Again, I am not a film critic and I am not in place to judge someone by their acting skills.
There are probably many professionals who will be able to criticize James quite a bit for his performance, but I think it is something enjoyable (and not very different from Michael Jordan in the original, to have an inevitable comparison).
LeBron was authentic and funny, serious and even ridiculous in fair measure. He made fun of himself, his career and also repeated some of his iconic moments and phrases. It was great to see him as the main lead. It’s a great souvenir trip for basketball fans. If you are watching this movie to see good actors, you have probably made the wrong decision.
3. LeBron’s recruiting process
NBA fans love to joke about how LeBron picks his teammates in real life, so it was okay to see the same thing for the “Tune Squad.” Without going too deep, it was great to see him go from one kingdom to another to find companions to face the “Goon Squad.” In that process there are many jokes about his former teams and teammates that NBA fans will appreciate.
4. The Goon Squad
The cast of Damian Lillard (Chronos), Anthony Davis (The Brow), Klay Thompson (Wet-Fire), Diana Taurasi (White Mamba) and Nneka Ogwumike (Arachnekka) were great and they all served their purpose in the movie, but I would have I liked seeing more of them as humans because I enjoy all five as players and people and I would have liked to see them shine on the big screen. Lillard got superstar treatment with his “Dame Time” moments, which was cool. And everyone had moments on the court that paid homage to his true abilities, which was cool too.