Space Jam

1996, Movie, PG, 87 mins

Review

SPACE JAM
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A cynical attempt to cash in on the popularity of Warner Bros. cartoon characters and basketball player Michael Jordan, inspired by a Nike commercial. The plot isn't the thing, but imagine MORTAL KOMBAT thoroughly sanitized for tender sensibilities: Evil aliens come to Looney Tunes land to enslave the beloved cartoon characters, whose fate rests on a basketball game against a bunch of hypermuscled monsters fueled by the purloined talent of NBA stars. But never fear -- genial Jordan helps them slam-dunk those alien slavers right back to the planet Moron. It sounds paradoxical to complain about cartoon characters being two-dimensional, but over the years Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the rest have acquired layers of endearing idiosyncrasies that are nowhere in evident in this loud, shallow, butt-obsessed picture: It's as the though the BODY SNATCHERS had shanghaied the real Looney Tunes characters and left behind glossy husks. Among the live-action performers, Jordan is effortlessly charming, but Bill Murray is smarmy and unpleasant, and Seinfeld's Wayne Knight does little more than endure an endless stream of fat jokes. The technical razzle-dazzle that lets Jordan dribble on the cartoon court and inserts Bugs and Daffy into the "real" world is, sad to say, less than dazzling: This is no WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. Can we go now, please? leave a comment

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