Retro Movie Review: ‘Space Jam’
In the 1990’s, few star shone brighter than Chicago Bulls shooting guard, Michael Jordan. At the height of his popularity, a Hollywood executive got the bizarre idea to pair Jordan’s athletic skills with the irreverent humor of the Looney Tunes. On paper, this idea sounds like the rants of a crazy person, or the daydream of an ADHD-ridden six year old, but put on film it became Space Jam, a touchstone for an entire generation of moviegoers. When an alien circus wants to abduct Bugs, Daffy, Taz, and the rest of their crew, for their latest attraction, a basketball game is set to determine the outcome of the Tunes. This seems like a slam dunk of an idea until their extraterrestrial foes steal the talent of NBA legends like; Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Muggsy Bogues. To even the score, the Tunes recruit His Royal Airness to help them out.
As previously mentioned Space Jam is an insane idea that miraculously came together in the finished product. In my personal opinion the reason it worked so well is that like, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, it played the two contrasting worlds of the characters straight without compromising their integrity. In one plot line you see the greatest basketball played of all time at a crossroads in his career, having to decide if he wants to stay with the sport which made him a household name; or try his hand at baseball. At the same time the filmmakers utilized rich and vibrant animation to bring the Looney Tunes back to the big screen without sacrificing the zany sarcastic humor which has made Bugs and his crew timeless characters. With an encyclopedia’s worth of characters to place with, it is amazing that they were able utilize just about all of the Tunes from stars like Daffy and Marvin the Martian to more obscure characters like Toro the Bull.
Space Jam is remembered fondly by those who grew up on it and still evokes a sense of nostalgia for an entire generation. From the non-stop jokes from the Tune Squad; to the thrills of Air Jordan at his peak; to an unforgettable cameo by the legendary Bill Murray. To this day rumors of a sequel starring LeBron James still surface to tease those who fondly recall this flick (though for the sake of updating I guess this time the aliens will steal the talents of: Stephen Curry, Marc Gasol, Jeff Teague, James Harden, and Derrick Rose).