Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

One of those rare team-ups which, like Frank Sinatra and Bono, you would never in a million years otherwise think of: Looney Tunes and basketball.

Indeed, if you entered the cinema at just about any moment during the first third of this, within moments you'd probably be wondering if the projectionist had accidentally spliced two entirely different films together.

In some scenes, Michael Jordan stars in a cynical modern-day drama about himself throwing-in basketball to pursue his lifelong dream of a career in baseball.

In others... well it's Looney Tunes, but with a lower frame-rate and somewhat different voices.

When the two genres finally meet, the film at last gains some, uh, legs, and the whole thing becomes a fluffy tribute to the US sporting celebrities of the day. Over 20 (for me) complete strangers line up to play themselves in here, ensuring that it's either lost or gained something since its release in 1996.

Despite its pedigree, this is another Looney Tunes outing which flatly ignores the contemporary casts of Tiny Toons, Animaniacs etc., which is a shame given the amount of respect which those shows routinely paid to the classic characters here.

Space Jam also wants to be a lot funnier than I found it, but the occasional line did still get me laughing.

Daffy: "Just how did you get here, anyway?"
Bill Murray: "Producer's a friend of mine."

Mr. Swackhammer: "Whoa, whoa, whoa! I didn't know Dan Aykroyd was in this picture!"

Psychic: "I see aliens. Little aliens from outer space. They forced their way inside your bodies. They need your talent to win a basketball game against Bugs Bunny. I also see Michael Jordan being sucked down a golf hole by furry creatures."
Unknown famous client: "That's it, we're going."

It might be a fun movie if you love basketball, but probably not if you're into the Looney Tunes who, it can't be avoided, are just not on form here.

Still, a pleasant way to pass 88 minutes, and even better, it ultimately gave us the fantastic sequel Back In Action!

Available here.


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