Let’s get this over with, even if it’s pointless to review, as it’s just a WB corporate flex.
I revisited the original Space Jam just before seeing this, it was a corporate vehicle emphasizing cross brand promotion, spectacle, and references over story, with the “hook” of real life celebrities acting a cliched “inspiring sports film” formula alongside animated characters.
But in retrospect it had some laughs and some self awareness NOT weaponized to just suck corporate cocks in a proud cynical fashion, all the time.
And yes, this is just a new one, a “stand-alone sequel”, make sense since it has been in development hell for 15 years.
It has the same basic premise, with a basketball game deciding the fate of a real life person and the cartoon characters he mets in a new world. Obviously this one swaps Michael Jordan for James LeBron, but also tries to up the ante and modernize it, setting it in a virtual WB-verse where an evil algorhythm-IA has trapped LeBron and his younger son Dom.
Problem is it also quadruples down on corporate bullshit, to the point it’s way longer than it needs just to have countless references using WB owned IPs. Not jokes, references. It also takes itself more seriously for no reason, and it’s often more embarassing and awkward than funny or fun.
This is an official feature length shitpost filled with memes and references (not so much jokes), and while the animation isn’t bad, it’s a stylistically spineless affair, even the older Space Jam had a consistent style to the mixing of live action and animation.
The original was a product of his time as much as this new one is, but even the 1996 movie it’s still better than this specimen of pure corporate public narcistic wanking.