One of the most annoying things I can think of in a movie is when some kind of professional athlete stars in a movie. One of my least favorite is when professional “wrestlers” try their hand…with the exception of Dwayne Johnson. The same can by said for movies with musicians, that is also annoying. For some reason though, none of that came to mind for “Space Jam” when I first saw it. I especially like it when it is a fiction movie with the athletes playing themselves. No need to try to be anyone else. That, I think works, and even with the loony plot of “Space Jam”, it really worked for the king of basketball, Michael Jordan.
In a distant galaxy, a ruthless amusement park manager (Danny DeVito) wanted something to bring more customers to his park. To do that, he decides to find the Looney Toons, and enslave them. Clearly, the Looney Toons decline their offer to enslave them, and instead challenge the aliens to a basketball game as a chance to defend themselves. The aliens then steal professional basketball players talents, which in turn turns the scrawny aliens into terrifying monsters…or monSTARS rather. Seeing that they will need help, the Looney Toons kidnap Michael Jordan to help them win and escape slavery.
This can sort of be seen as The Avengers of cartoons, back then, having so many characters in the same place was more unheard of. It’s more than that though, it was the combination of two unlikely categories that kids in the 90s liked, the Looney Toons and Basketball with their hero Michael Jordan. Back then, if anyone would have told you that Michael Jordan would have starred in a movie with the Looney Toons, you would have probably thought that the only Looney Toon in the picture would be whoever told you about the movie.
The focus on the untalented professional basketball players was put in the movie just for comedic relief, but it wasn’t necessary. They played no real part in the movie, so more focus should have been on the Looney Toons, or have the pro players play a more vital role in the end game. I do understand the need to have some comedic relief with the players, seeing how back in the day everyone knew these people, but nowadays the purpose is lost, and it just seems to come off as random scenes.
The acting is pretty much what you would expect to find with any professional athlete, and if it were any other plot, the whole movie would be terrible. According to RottenTomatoes, this movie IS terrible, but I don’t think so. It has a lot of nostalgia for especially kids of the 90s and anyone old enough to remember how big of an impact Michael Jordan really made. The same can be said about the Looney Toons. Nowadays, cartoons typically are terrible, and not as memorable as the Looney Toons.
The visuals aren’t amazing, but what can you expect from an attempt at recreating a cartoon character to fit in live action? Not a whole lot more, honestly. There were probably a few things that they could have improved on, but do I really think that would have changed my overall outlook on the movie? No, not at all. There is some weird audio editing in the movie too, just thought I’d mention that.
They tried to make another live action/Looney Toons movie with Brendan Frasier called “Looney Toons: Back in Action“, but that didn’t make as big of an impact as “Space Jam” did. Overall, this was more fun of a movie when it came out then it is now. The nostalgia is held in place, but I am afraid that is the only reason this passed 70% for me. Some movies translate well for modern day and some don’t, and I really think the only thing that transferred is that nostalgia. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of nostalgia, but I try my hardest not to focus too hard on the nostalgia then the movie itself. For this film, there was just so much of it that it distracted me from how I would normally review it. That being said, watch this film if you were a 90s kid. Otherwise, it’ll be fine to skip.