MOVIES

The Sequel To A Beloved 1996 Movie Was A Huge Flop

1996’s “Space Jam” is a fun throwback featuring classic Looney Tunes gags and one of the best basketball players ever. “Space Jam: A New Legacy” attempts to do the same, while throwing in a bunch of needless intellectual property from the rest of the Warner Bros. library. Some “Matrix” references are fun, but having the Droogs from “A Clockwork Orange” appear during the big match feels like cramming in IP for IP’s sake. Looper’s review of “A New Legacy” called out these odd references and plenty of other aspects of the movie that didn’t work, while numerous other critics had similar thoughts. 

Alissa Wilkinson of Vox criticized the inherently strange nature of the sequel, calling it “the kind of studio film that seems halfway aware that it’s sort of critiquing a problem its existence also exemplifies.” In this instance, the movie seems to be aware that using AI and algorithms to control art is a bad thing, yet the film itself is packed to the brim with SEO-friendly keywords and concepts that would appeal to any executive obsessed with “brand synergy.”

Then again, perhaps people have been too harsh toward “A New Legacy.” After all, the original “Space Jam” could be considered one giant commercial, too, and Michael Jordan’s performance is hardly some tour de force. Perhaps adults have viewed “A New Legacy” through a more cynical lens, absent any nostalgia they may have for the first movie. Kids will likely be kinder toward the sequel, which is probably why it’s doing so well on Netflix now. 

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