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Space Jam (1996) - One Long Commercial [User Review] [User Review]


This is a terrible movie, and the fact that Leonard Maltin likes it makes me wonder what happened to his brain cells since he introduced the Golden Jubilee series of Looney Tunes videos in 1985. If you want a good Looney Tunes film, check out any of the compilation flicks like "The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie."

To start the movie off, we're treated to a supposed-to-be-heartwarming scene in which a young Michael (you know, that classic Looney Tunes character Michael Jordan) is playing basketball outside and tells his dad about all the things he wants to do when he grows up. Yeah, like we need to know why a tall, bald, black guy is playing basketball thirty years later. It's definitely not the nine zillion he makes annually, but because it's his boyhood dream. Besides, one line of adult Michael's slushy-voiced dialogue reveals that he's probably not qualified for too many other professions.

After the obligatory scene in which the bad guys plot their evil scheme (and oh boy, someone got Danny DeVito to do the voice of the leader Swackhammer...I guess Tim Curry was unavailable), we're finally introduced to the Looney Tunes characters. Bugs Bunny acts like the annoying kid in the classroom with ADD and sounds like Stimpy (great, Billy West does some of the voices, like I needed another reason to hate this movie!) and is for some reason intimidated by these little alien creatures that Tweety would have no trouble kicking the behinds of. Anyway, Bugs & Co. challenge the aliens to a game of basketball, drag Michael to (shudder) "Looney Tunes Land" (shudder), and they win. Yay-freakin'-ay.

First, the special effects of combining Bugs and Michael are just passable but not great. There is no sense of wonder or real interaction like in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" Perhaps the writers weren't very imaginative on how the characters could be more physical with each other, but Bugs looked more alive next to human co-stars in the 1948 movie "My Dream is Yours."

The Looney Tunes characters are pale imitations of their actual selves. A new unnecessary female rabbit named Lola is introduced (I guess the writers forgot about Honey Bunny, whom I would have loved to see turned into a main character for this flick). She is nothing more than a placeholder for the "token female" spot. And I'm sure Ivan Reitman thought the "Don't ever call me 'doll'" line was going to be springing from the lips of every young girl out there who didn't leave the theater in disgust at this point. Instead, it's just a stupid built-in merchandise slogan. Give me "Beep Beep" any day over that.

Daffy's in it, Porky's in it, Foghorn's in it, Sylvester's in it, and Elmer's in it (really, practically no other characters were given dialogue). They look ugly, they sound ugly, and their personalities have all been reduced to expansions on their vocal traits. Are we positive Disney wasn't secretly involved in hopes to ruin these great characters?

Then there is a very disturbing long sequence in which several Looney Tunes get hurt during the basketball game, followed by a long shot of some minor characters in various states of dying. Did someone actually think this is FUNNY?? I've never considered any cartoon violence as "gratuitous," but this is most certainly an ugly, witless scene of just pain. And this movie comes from the same man who did the fun, harmless "Ghostbusters??"

This movie has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It's a ninety-minute Nike commercial. There's even a line of dialogue in which the sometimes-funny Wayne Knight tells Michael to support all of his endorsements ("Put on your Hanes(TM), we'll grab a Big Mac(TM)...," etc.). It's supposed to be disguised as self-parody, but comes off as pompousness. I guess promoting ninety different companies was also part of young Michael's boyhood dream. I would seriously doubt being in a second-rate Looney Tunes movie was, too.

Source of the Bitter: RetroGuy09

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
JAS on Sat, 02/13/2010 - 4:53pm

Yes, this was one of those films that started, or were at least part of, the great decline of quality in Hollywood.

So I leave you all with Doris Day as Bugs:

odomba (not verified) on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 3:57am

good post

Que on Sat, 02/13/2010 - 3:21pm

I remember when this movie just came out back to the time... everyone thought this was gonna be another 'who framed roger rabbit'but the end result was very disappointing. this is one of the earlist money milking film cow, the point for making was profit and profit only.

hollywood's days only went sadder since then.

odomba (not verified) on Thu, 04/01/2010 - 3:56am

nice post