I feel like we constantly underestimate the power of nostalgia. For instance, the film Space Jam is not really a good film. It hurts me to say that. It really does because I love that film dearly and have ever since I was a child. But, watching Space Jam as an adult with the intention to write about it, it’s barely a movie.
Do you know what the inspiration for Space Jam was, by any chance? It was Nike commercials that Michael Jordan had done where he and Bugs Bunny played basketball against Marvin the Martian and other aliens.
There’s not much more thought beyond that as far as plot goes for this film. Somebody for sure went into Warner Brothers and said “What if Michael Jordan played basketball with the Looney Tunes? Oh, and Bill Murray is there for some reason.” (Not that I’m complaining. Murray is a delightful addition to any cast.)
My two favorite things about this film, though, are that it’s used to explain Jordan’s decision to retire from basketball, play professional baseball, and then return to professional basketball, and that no real person in this film finds it weird that you can be transported to the home of the Looney Tunes, or that the Looney Tunes are even real. When Jordan gets sucked down the hole at the golf course, Murray and Larry Bird don’t even attempt to find Jordan. They assume that he’s just left via golf hole because that is apparently a very normal thing to do. Even better, once Jordan is in Looney Tune Land, he only questions the cartoons once. How he’s not concerned that he is having a nervous breakdown is beyond me. Maybe he thinks he’s having a fever dream, and he’s just accepted it? One can only hope.
This film is just so strange because there is a plot, but not really? It’s loose, to say the least.
What nobody can deny, however, is 1) how great the theme song is and 2) how great the soundtrack is. How do you not get pumped up by that theme song? I mean:
This films’ continued popularity relies solely on my generation still loving it. We grew up with this ridiculous film. We will defend it until the day we die. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a particularly good film.
I still want a TuneSquad jersey, though.