Movie review: Space Jam: A New Legacy
Space Jam, the 1996 Michael Jordan-Looney Tunes live action-animation sports comedy family film, was never my jam.
And 25 years later, the sequel - which is currently showing in theatres here - is still an air ball, albeit one that tries really hard to make the jump shots.
How the messy, manic concept ended up earning a jaw-dropping US$250 million (S$340 million) at the global box office back in the mid-90s is beyond me, so A New Legacy may just repeat the feat.
It sells us a glossy upgrade, but the plot is lazily similar to the original, just levelled up in a video game world and powered by 3D CGI (computer-generated imagery) effects.
Set in a meta Warner Bros virtual multiverse, the film follows basketball superstar LeBron James teaming up with the Looney Tunes to win a high-stakes basketball match so that they can rescue his video game-creating son (Cedric Joe) from Warner Bros' artificial intelligence programme Al-G Rhythm's (an over-the-top, moustache-twirling Don Cheadle) nefarious plans.
None of it makes a lick of sense, but that was never the point. Like how it was for Jordan, this is King James' star vehicle, and his fans will lap up every move he makes and every cliche he dishes out.
Meanwhile, the Looney Tunes brand of slapstick silliness should entertain the little ones, but adults may find such humour painfully unfunny, tiresome and dated.
There is a reason why A New Legacy is the first film to feature these characters since 2003's Looney Tunes: Back In Action, and even takes jabs at how Bugs Bunny and gang are a "washed-up" intellectual property.
Speaking of which, Warner Bros shamelessly milks all its cash cows here, with everyone from the DC superheroes and Game Of Thrones to Harry Potter and The Matrix turning up for their share of the screen time. Even Pennywise the killer clown from It literally has courtside seats.
Jordan had famously refused to make an appearance, but that does not stop the film-makers from using his name, especially for a big tease during halftime. The eventual celebrity cameo served up is at least one of the rare slam dunks.
And no, it is not Bill Murray either.
FILM: Space Jam: A New Legacy
STARRING: LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe, Zendaya
DIRECTOR: Malcolm D. Lee
THE SKINNY: When LeBron James and his young son Dom (Joe) are trapped in a digital space by a rogue artificial intelligence Al-G Rhythm (Cheadle), the basketball superstar must get them home safely by leading Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of Looney Tunes to victory over the computer's digitised champions on the court.