Space Jam A New Legacy review roundup: ‘A tired exercise in IP-driven branding’

The first reviews of Space Jam: A New Legacy are starting to trickle in. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee, it is a standalone sequel to the 1996 film Space Jam.

The film follows NBA star LeBron James as he finds himself in a digital space realm called Serververse. His son is kidnapped by an algorithm. He teams up with Looney Tunes characters to defeat the algorithm’s digital basketball players.

Space Jam: A New Legacy, which goes by producer Ryan Coogler, features some popular characters from IPs owned by Warner Bros.

The film has not been to the liking of critics who dismiss the film as a big studio showing off the characters it owns. It has scored 31 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

The critical consensus reads: “Despite LeBron James’ efforts to make the Tune Squad a winning team, Space Jam: A New Legacy trades the wacky, meta humor of its predecessor for a blatant, tired exercise in IP-driven branding. ”

Slate’s Sam Adams wrote in his review: “Companies handing over a bag of unrelated IP and commissioning screenwriters to come up with a story around them is the template for most studio films now, if not all of contemporary existence. “

ABC News’ Peter Travers opined, “Critics are going to pick this sequel. We do when an alleged creative venture turns into a corporate ad campaign. Don’t expect grumbling from the under-13 audience eager to see LeBron James jamming in cyberspace with cartoonish cartoons.” royalties.

CNN’s Brian Lowry said that while the first movie was nothing special, “even by that standard, this marketing-driven exercise plays too much like the Acme version of it.”

Johnny Oleksinski of the New York Post noted, “In the pantheon of misguided sequels and reboots, “A New Legacy” is right at the top with “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” and “Little Fockers.”

Space Jam A New Legacy was released in the US on July 16. There is no information about a release in India yet.

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