First Space Jam: A New Legacy Reviews Call It A Shameless Ad For WB Content
This might sting for audiences of a certain generation, but Space Jam isn’t a very good movie. It’s fitfully entertaining in parts, packed with plenty of decent gags and a scene-stealing supporting turn from Bill Murray, but it’s never exactly been lauded as high art.
Sequel A New Legacy arrives tomorrow, 25 years after the original and boasting a mammoth $165 million budget. All of the footage we’ve seen so far promises a family film on the grandest possible scale, with LeBron James and the Looney Tunes visiting a slew of Warner Bros. properties in what many were already deriding as the most blatant brand synergy we’ve seen in a movie for a long time.
The first reviews for Space Jam: A New Legacy have begun rolling in ahead of the film’s theatrical and HBO Max rollout, and it looks as though those concerns were right on the money. As you can see from the reactions below, the Warner Bros. back catalogue has been prioritized at the expense of such things as plot and character, with the result a two-hour ad for the studio.
Bolting the Space Jam concept onto an expansive roster of iconic IP could have really went either way, resulting in either a shameless plug for WB’s back catalogue or an inspired meta spin on the premise of the beloved original. By all accounts, A New Legacy is veering firmly into the former, and the end product is nothing more than a disposable and lightweight blockbuster.
At the time of writing, Space Jam: A New Legacy is sitting on a lukewarm Rotten Tomatoes score of 42%, which is roughly on a par with its predecessor, but it’s hard to predict if that rating will rise or fall over the coming days as more critics weigh in.