Last year, fans celebrated the Space Jam 20th Anniversary, with the movie returning to the big screen for a limited time, as news started to spread about a potential sequel with current NBA superstar LeBron James. It's a whole new year now, though, and it seems like a perfect time for an Honest Trailer, to tear this divisive movie to shreds. This four-minute video tackles everything wrong with the animated movie, including Michael Jordan's lack of acting skills, the massive plot holes in the story, and much more.
This week's video is part of Screen Junkies' "Fan Appreciation Month," where they'll create Honest Trailers for the movies fans voted for, with Space Jam the third selection in the special series. The video's narrator, Jon Bailey, jokingly calls Space Jam the "Citizen Kane of live-action animated hybrid basketball films," which "blew the minds of every kid who saw it." Unfortunately, these kids who adored the movie then are likely so blinded by nostalgia that they can't see the obvious flaws of Space Jam, then and now. Thankfully, we have this honest trailer to point out all of its misgivings.
The trailer points out how ridiculous this story really is, centering on aliens stealing the talent from real 1990s NBA stars, so they can beat Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters in a basketball game that is tied to the fate of a failing amusement park. The aliens, known as the Nerdlucks, use their alien powers to steal the talents from Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson and Shawn Bradley to become the Monstars. To level the playing field, the Looney Tunes characters bring in Michael Jordan, which is set during what Jon Bailey describes as his "weird baseball era," where the NBA legend retired to pursue his dream of playing pro baseball, adding that conspiracy theorists believe his "retirement" was actually a secret suspension for gambling.
This honest trailer also points out how Bill Murray seemingly has the ability to transfer between Earth and the other dimension the movie is set in, which isn't actually "space," another point made by the narrator. Jon Bailey also points out some of the ways in which Michael Jordan isn't exactly the best role model, and how this basketball game between the aliens and Looney Tunes is the worst-refereed game since Air Bud was allowed on the court. This trailer also points out how the movie is essentially a "90-minute commercial" for all of the brands Michael Jordan was affiliated with, such as Nike, Wheaties and more.
For all of its flaws, Space Jam was actually a big hit in 1996, earning $90.4 million domestically and $230.4 million worldwide. When adjusted for inflation, the domestic total would be equivalent to a $173.3 million movie today. As for the long-gestating sequel Space Jam 2, we reported in May that Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin has entered talks to direct, with LeBron James still attached to star and produce. Andrew Dodge (Bad Words) and Alfredo Botello (Hollywood Adventures) have come aboard to write the script. While we wait for more up this sequel, take a look at the honest trailer for the original Space Jam below.