Review Roundup For Space Jam: A New Legacy

The critics have weighed in on the new Space Jam movie that's releasing on July 16.

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25 years later, the Space Jam franchise is back with a new entry called A New Legacy that stars LeBron James playing basketball with a bunch of Looney Tunes.

The film hits theaters and HBO Max on Friday, July 16, and reviews have begun to appear online. You can see a sampling of review excerpts below, while a wider look at the critical reaction to A New Legacy can be found on GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

In addition to James, A New Legacy stars Don Cheadle, along with a number of other NBA and WNBA superstars like Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, and Diana Taurasi. The film is produced by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler.

Space Jam: A New Legacy

  • Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee and Terence Nance
  • Written By: Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Keenan Coogler, Terence Nance, Jesse Gordon, Celeste Ballard
  • Starring: LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe, Khris Davis, Sonequa Martin-Green, Ceyair J Wright, Harper Leigh Alexander, Xosha Roquemore, Jeff Bergman, Zendaya
  • Release Date: July 16 (United States)
  • Runtime: 115 minutes
  • Rating: PG

Collider

"Even on the simplest critique of 'Is Space Jam: A New Legacy entertaining?', the answer is a resounding, 'No.' It may look more expensive than the original and LeBron James is willing to poke fun at himself in a way that Michael Jordan never did, but it's still a listless, overlong, brand-fetishizing affair that seems designed to appeal to shareholders first and everyone else second. I can't imagine kids having the patience for this and even those who are nostalgic for the original will likely lose interest. Warner Bros. essentially made a sizzle reel for their IP and thought it was a slam dunk when it's clearly an air ball." -- Matt Goldberg [Full review]

The Playlist

"All things considered, yeah, this newest Space Jam installment is a good time and boasts real heart. LeBron's steady work as the lead and a narrative undercurrent built on a believable father-son relationship makes for a breezy 115 minutes and improves on the harmless, yet admittedly stiff original. And while LeBron might not be in the Finals right now, he has definitely scored a win here." -- Warren Cantrell [Full review]

Polygon

"Space Jam: A New Legacy is only really satisfying to people who care about marketing and company profits, people who approach it as a product that's successfully been sold. It's like a basketball game your favorite team is winning--except the team isn't one playing on screen. It's the company that sold you the ticket." -- Joshua Rivera [Full review]

The Guardian

"As commercial propaganda, this isn't even convincing, portraying the studio it set out to glorify as a fading institution entering its decadent last-days-of-Rome phase. In this display of expensive corporate onanism, we arrive at a creative dead end for a studio reliant on classics that they’ve stopped minting. Gee, ain't it a stinker?" -- Charles Bramesco [Full review]

Entertainment Weekly

"There are no other living American athletes who could really get away with Space Jam: A New Legacy (a lack for which we should all be grateful), and James basically does. The man's stature, already impressive, grows a little bit more when he gets to stand atop this enormous chunk of movie, now piled up with his many other achievements. Just as a film, though, for people to actually watch? Algorithmically speaking, it's no slam dunk." -- Mary Sollosi [Full review]

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