Before Space Jam's 1996 release, we'd never imagined that Michael Jordan would dunk on cartoon players, that Jay-Z would ghostwrite for Bugs Bunny, or that a cartoon rabbit could make us sweat. Our five-part "Space Jam: 20 Years Later" package grapples with all of these incomprehensible truths and many more, exploring the legacy of the worst-best film ever made.
Twenty years ago, Warner Bros.' Space Jam was released to the delight of moviegoers all across the nation. Around the same time, Acclaim Entertainment released Space Jam the video game. No one was delighted.
The game, a snowflake in a blizzard of bad video game releases in the early years of 32-bit gaming, straight up doesn't make sense. It may be a pared-down, three-on-three version of NBA Jam, but the rest plays like five programming students procrastinated on their final project until the last day and handed it in after popping Aderall and chain smoking Dutches all night.
*Hits blunt* "Yo, what if we just did NBA Jam but with worse controls and McDonald's advertising?"
*Hits blunt* "Yo, what if we scrap everything that makes sense and just throw a ton of mini games in there?"
*Hits blunt* "Yo...do you think Taz could out-rebound Daffy Duck?"
No shade to Acclaim since they're also the makers of NBA Jam and have supplied us all with probably hundreds of hours of entertainment over the years, but Space Jam the video game is no NBA Jam. Don't be fooled by the Jam.
In 2016, when you play this original Playstation game on a 4K TV, it's so blurry it looks like it was shot with a Vaseline-covered Android front camera. Is that Michael Jordan or Tommy from Martin (RIP)? And the LOADING—half of the Space Jam video game experience is watching the same unchanging loading screen. "You ain't got no job, Michael Jordan!" I literally said that to myself. I've been staring at this same loading screen picture for so long I'm writing Michael Jordan-based episodes of Martin. I am now insane.
But not insane enough to enjoy having to search every locker in the locker room for Michael Jordan's basketball equipment. This is the halftime fun? Getting treated like some sucker rookie intern having to collect all of MJ's things while aliens throw bombs at me? That *clap* is *clap* not *clap* basketball *clap*.
There are so many little complaints, but the biggest issue is that it's simply not fun. It's definitely more fun writing about how crappy it is than actually playing this game. You should try it. Because honestly, who wants to play some Micro Machines knock off space rocket mini game when we could be running around a golf course as Bill Murray instead? And where's Newman? And why is Lola Bunny so sexy?
In the end, the Space Jam video game leaves you with more questions than answers. And a good level of boredom. There's just no way any normal person in a push notification society has the patience for 30 consecutive minutes of this.
Movie's still dope, though.