Run time: 88 mins
In Theaters: Friday 15th November 1996
Box Office Worldwide: $230M
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Production compaines: Warner Bros. Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 35%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 32
IMDB: 6.2 / 10
Starring: Michael Jordan as Himself, Wayne Knight as Stan Podolak, Billy West as Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd (voice), Dee Bradley Baker as Daffy Duck/Tazmanian Devil/Bull (voice), Theresa Randle as Juanita Jordan, Danny DeVito as Mr. Swackhammer (voice), Brandon Hammond as Michael Jordan (at 10), Larry Bird as Himself, Bill Murray as Himself, Charles Barkley as Himself, Patrick Ewing as Himself, Tyrone Bogues as Himself, Larry Johnson as Himself, Shawn Bradley as Himself, Ahmad Rashad as Himself, Del Harris as Himself, Vlade Divac as Himself, Cedric Ceballos as Himself, Jim Rome as Himself, Paul Westphal as Himself, Danny Ainge as Himself, Alonzo Mourning as Himself, A.C. Green as Himself, Charles Oakley as Himself, Derek Harper as Himself, Jeff Malone as Himself, Anthony Miller as Himself, Sharone Wright as Himself
That being said, I am probably not the most impartial person to watch Space Jam, the 1996 outing in which Jordan helps the beloved Looney Tunes gang compete in an interplanetary basketball game. However, any die-hard Bulls fan can agree with any Knicks fan on this one fact: Jordan is a terrible actor
It's never a good sign when your leading actor can only deliver several sentences of dialogue at a time. And do it in the same indifferent monotone. Jordan could very well be an intelligent guy, but the movie makes him sound like he would have trouble conversing with a bunch of second graders.
Still, Jordan is not the sole reason why Space Jam throws up an air ball. It's partly because there's nobody to give him proper support. Bill Murray, before his independent film renaissance, appears for all of five minutes, most of them in an excruciatingly long golf scene with Jordan and Larry Bird. Wayne Knight's character gets as irksome as his TV alter ego, Newman, within seconds. Basketball players have more lines and screen time than Theresa Randle, who plays Jordan's wife. It should be the other way around, and I wish it were. Then I wouldn't be subjected to an endless segment of several NBA players (who have had their talent stolen by the aliens) in the office of a psychiatrist patterned after Freud. Space Jam proves without a doubt why most athletes should stick to plugging soft drinks and sneakers
Space Jam's biggest problem is that it's boring, which seems impossible to do considering four writers, Ivan Reitman, and Jordan's agent were involved. The Looney Tunes don't get any room to run wild. Instead, we get a rehash of old phrases and scenes from 50 years ago. And the climatic basketball game is a snooze because it doesn't go outside of what's done on Saturday morning television: Characters getting flattened or shot at, while Jordan twists and turns in front of a blue screen. No matter if you're a basketball fan, a cartoon fan, or a movie fan, Space Jam offers little that will excite you or involve you. You'd get more excitement watching a local pick-up game.
Still, we know Space Jam has its fans, and they're sure to enjoy the new Special Edition DVD, including a commentary from director Joe Pytka and a few of the Tunes gang, plus a second disc filled with (unrelated) Looney Tunes cartoons.