Ahhh who doesn't remember the 1996 classic 'The Game of the Century'? Impossible to forget this feature for several reasons: the participation of Michael Jordan, the song 'I believe I can fly', the surprise appearance of Bill Murray and the beloved Looney Tunes who for more than a generation, enchant, thrill and amuse. Here we are with that nostalgic childhood feeling. Is it too cringe? Well, back in 2014, rumors of a feature film produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, the possibility of a ramake or a continuation of the famous Space Jam was around. The most bizarre thing was not having a sequel but the fact of how to innovate years later? How to relive a cool story that was successful with Michael Jordan and helped popularize the NBA? The WB had two alternatives… the first one, to make a film living up to the first one or… there is no option, it had to be epic, fantastic, incredible, something capable of maintaining the legacy of its previous one. 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' broke with force and will make a lot of people get emotional.
Before talking about the new WB release, let's rewind the tape and recall the narrative of Space Jam: The Game of the Century from 1996. The plot introduces us to Bugs Bunny and his friends from Looney Tunes who run after player Michael Jordan to ask for help in a basketball game against aliens. Remembered? Here, the formula is repeated, but in reverse. Who needs help is the famous Lebron that you'll have to win a basketball game if you want to save your son and get his life back. Before you start criticizing this feature film, remember: from one feature film to the other we have a difference of almost three decades and yes, it comes in a more high-tech, more modern, historical, perhaps.
The film is well produced and enchants for its special effects. The colors drawn to neon, the impeccable photography, the cuts and framing, the soundtrack, everything is well tied and everything is talked about in the production. The team that designed the special effects and animation… did a great job, nothing was bizarre or ugly. the script written by Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Keenan Coogler, Terence Nance, Jesse Gordon and Celeste Ballard it's super cohesive and the most interesting thing is that the film doesn't get lost in the most diverse easter eggs in the universe of Looney Tunes, which mixes with the environment of the American basketball league (NBA), which includes the environment of Lebron James himself and, above all, the extensive and exquisite curriculum of Warner Bros. It's not just a matter of fondly remembering the predecessor, but of everything that Warner Bros has produced… it's a tribute from the studio to the studio.
The new feature brings several references from different productions, almost impossible to be listed in 100%, but we have the main ones like the Justice League, Rick & Morty, Matrix, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter, all that and a little more in a feature film with Bugs Bunny. In addition to other iconic productions such as The Flintstones and The Jetsons. Even with so many elements to work in production, the work of Malcolm D. Lee (O Bom Filho à Casa Torna) is well done and well executed. In no time he dropped the shuttlecock and knew how to "drink" the original work with parsimony and created something very current and we can say that in a way, it is very original. Here the direction the direction knew how to work and gave space to the excellent work in 2D (the coolest passages in the film are completely animated) and the beautiful 3D graphic setting to impress the viewer and the fact that there is no interference in each other, it's a magnificent result.
The cast is amazing. Court star “King” James is fantastic, charismatic, fun and not at all forced. The actor Don Cheadle as “Al-Geritimo”, a cunning and evil artificial intelligence is responsible for digitizing Lebron and his eldest player son, Dom (the young man's debut role Cedric Joe), in the 'server'. I believe he's never done anything so good, I've never seen an actor do so well in a role he probably hasn't done in a long time. He's a smart, humorous, mocking villain, and his quirks, manners, and floors complete the villainous algorithm he staged so well. While the reason for all the chaos caused by the villain is a bit pointless, it didn't change anything in Don Cheadle's performance.
The animation, a cartoonish style is very current and all the elements like the basketball court, the characters, everything well done, well produced. The coolest thing is that the final match takes place not on a traditional basketball court but on a video game, where we can see the special effects shine because they are so incredible. In addition, all this beauty and perfection of artistic production gave a more modern air to Looney Tunes, and not only for the 3D version, but for the narrative context, which was a brilliant idea. The WB brought an “old” narrative, kept the nostalgia and gave an innovation, bringing the digital environment and a gamer vibe.
But the modernity is not just on account of the hallucinogenic look, but on the agendas dealt with. If you've watched the predecessor, remember that the character Lola Bunny is super sexualized. The clothes that the character wears are fair, which highlights the character's breasts and buttocks that are part of a cartoon and this change reflects the moment in which we are living. And as it could not be missing, there were criticisms about the new look of Lola Bunny.
Another ingenious feature of the film is having several well-known NBA icons dub and who serve as a mold for Squadron Valentão players, such as Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwumike – something that Lebron even uses to make some jokes more intrinsic to the context of the league in real life. The dubbing in Portuguese is really cool and it fits with the movie, it doesn't clash so much and the coolest thing is that you can't help but get emotional when you hear Bugs saying "What's up, old man?" in the voice of Alexandre Moreno, who has voiced him since the 2000s.
As well as the original 'Space Jam', the second film also has an impeccable soundtrack composed by a group of names in the music industry, such as John Legend, Lil Wayne, Jonas Brothers, Anthony Ramos, Chance The Rapper, SZA and more! But you might be wondering… will Michael Jordan appear in the 2021 feature? Looking forward to watching the movie? 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' arrives in Brazilian cinemas from this Thursday, July 15th.