After Michael Jordan backed off from the Warner Bros esteem Space Jam sequel, the studio roped in NBA star LeBron James for the standalone sequel, Space Jam 2: A New Legacy.
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee, the live action-animated film follows a rogue AI who abducts fictionalized NBA star LeBron and his son, Dom, into his virtual space multiverse. LeBron teams up with the rejected Looney Tunes to win a virtual basketball video game against his Mr. Al-G Rhythm (AI) to save his son and other lives at stake.
Warner Bros employed a heavy bunch of screenwriters to match the standards of their previous franchise. Space Jam 2 captures a plethora of pop-culture references from different films and television produced by Warner Bros, thus creating a shared universe of its own. Even with its magnificent extravagance, the movie runs little on emotions. Nevertheless, each frame is spectacular, and punches hit the funny bone, which is more than enough in an algorithm ruling the cinematic world, I guess.
‘Space Jam 2: A New Legacy’ Summary
A once-in-a-generation talent, LeBron James grows up to become the NBA’s most valuable player and makes a great American story. In the present day, he is happily married with three kids. LeBron’s son Darius and Dominic “Dom” struggle to match the basketball standard set by their father, and LeBron doesn’t miss a chance to push them off their limits. The compulsion breeds in the conflict between Dom and LeBron. Dom wants to enjoy the game and have fun, but it’s all work and work for LeBron. Dom even designs his own basketball video game at the age of 12, but LeBron doesn’t cheer up his son’s endeavors.
At Warner Bros stronghold at Burbank, California, an AI, Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle), picks out LeBron to launch a new tech, Warner 3000. He plans to revolutionize the entertainment industry by scanning LeBron right into the movies through artificial intelligence. However, LeBron likes the innovative idea and insults it spot on. His words fuel a rivalry between Al-G Rhythm and LeBron. The AI digitizes LeBron and Dom into Warner Bros Serververse and plans an act of revenge.
Al-G Rhythm kidnaps Dom and challenges LeBron for a digital basketball game if he wants to save Dom. LeBron tries to fight back, but AI kicks him into the “Tune World” with a 24-hour window to form a basketball team. Al-G Rhythm manipulates Dom against his dad and steals his basketball game “Domball.” Later, he uses Dom’s mobile scanning tech and re-creates an elite basketball team, fueling a feud between father and son.
Why did Al-G Rhythm send LeBron to Looney Tunes World?
According to Bugs Bunny, Al-G Rhythm thought that the world of Looney Tunes World is rejected in the age of the Internet. He manipulated Bugs nearest and dearest to leave the Old tune world and spread their existence in the Server Verse for more recognition. (Ouch, I feel that’s a direct hit on some biggies out there).
Everyone left the Looney Tunes World, and Bugs was left alone. However, when LeBron arrived with the mission to form a basketball team, Bug saw an opportunity. Bugs thought another Space Jam would reassemble his family, and thus, he buckled up for another basketball adventure.
How did Al-G Rhythm digitize an entire crowd?
Since the beginning, AI was working on new tech, Warner 3000, to scan individuals into the Server Verse. However, his technology had a limited focus area, i.e., the location of his mainframe.
Al-G Rhythm found out about Dom’s mobile scanning software. With the app’s help, Dom used to scan NBA stars and re-create their character models for his game. Al-G stole Dom’s codes and integrated them with his Warner 3000 tech. When the ServerClassic was announced, and people checked the messages, their phones scanned them and digitized them into the Server Verse.
Dom built a stylized basketball game with superhuman basketball players playing against LeBron’s Looney Tunes Squad. Al-G intensified the stakes by declaring that all human crowds would be forever captivated in the Server Verse if his Goon Squad wins the game. He also announced the deletion of Looney characters whom he despised.
Being a true player, LeBron played Domball as a classic basketball game. But later, he realized the whole purpose of the design and set-up was to have fun and not treat the game as work. After half time, he handed over the authority to Bugs Bunny. He revamped the game into A Looney-Tooney BasketBall.
‘Space Jam 2: A New Legacy’ Ending Explained
Al-G soon realized that his chances of winning the game looked thin. Thus, he resorted to the practices he was best at, cheating. Al-G kicked out Dom from the Goon squad and turned himself into monstrous AI for the final combat.
Dom, LeBron, and the Tunes concluded that it was impossible to defeat Al-G with his cheats and tricks. It was when Dom remembered the step-back glitch in his video game. His father’s iconic move, i.e., “In and Out, crossover and step back,” crashed the game once. Dom speculated that if the game crashed, Al-G wouldn’t be able to control it, and thus, their chances of victory would be revived. But the glitch came with consequences. Whoever would execute the glitch move would get deleted. Yet, to save his son and humanity, LeBron was ready to make the ultimate sacrifice.
In the final round, Bugs Bunny chipped in and performed the glitch move. LeBron grabbed the ball and scored. The Tune Squad defeated Al-G and erased him forever. Everything went back to normal.
Why did Bugs Bunny do the Step-Back Glitch? Did he survive?
When LeBron entered the Looney Tunes World, the planet’s overall population was “1.” Thus, it could be determined that Bugs lived a pretty lonely life after his friends left the planet. Bug understood the importance of family. He might not have wanted LeBron to get separated from his family or son. While Bugs, well, he already tasted the venom of isolation.
“Taking care of the people you love is fundamental.”Bugs Bunny
Bugs lived by the family code and sacrificed his life to save the Looney Tunes from deletion. After his sacrifice, the population of Looney Tunes World turned back to 196 except for Bugs Bunny. He disappeared into thin air.
However, when LeBron dropped Dom into Game Design camp in the real world, Bugs Bunny suddenly appeared beside him. He described that he is a “Tune” and can survive anything. Well, I believe the glitch step did delete Bugs Bunny. But it trashed its updated version, “sharper” CGI version, and he returned as the original Bugs Bunny animation that nurtured our childhood with love, wit, and charisma.
For all good reasons, the Bugs Bunny survived the glitch, and we hope to see more of him in upcoming WB projects.
Space Jam 2: A New Legacy is a 2021 live-action-animated comedy film directed by Malcolm D. Lee. It is a standalone sequel to Space Jam (1996).