While Space Jam: A New Legacy managed to knock Marvel’s Black Widow off the top of the box office charts last weekend, and LeBron James has been crowing about the takings of the movie in its first week, there is one person who definitely isn’t as on board with the hybrid sequel as some fans, and that is the director of the original ’90s Space Jam movie, Joe Pytka. While the sequel has been a long time coming, and changes in technology have made the new movie a less 2D affair, Pytka has given his verdict and it is more critical than even some of the worst critics’ reviews.
According to Joe Pytka, being interviewed by TMZ, he found the new movie so boring that he couldn’t even managed to sit through the two-hour run time in one go And it took it him five attempts to make it to the end of the big climactic basketball game. It appears that it was not just one issue the director had with the movie, but a whole myriad of problems from its star to the plot, and even some of the characterizations of the famous Warner Bros. cartoon heroes.
While Pytka said that LeBron is certainly a great athlete and a good enough actor, in comparison to Michael Jordan from the orginal, “The truth is that LeBron ain’t Michael.” One thing that he did point out is that they made an effort with the original Space Jam to tie their story to Michael Jordan personally. For Pytka, the personal connection is sorely missing from the new movie. His gripes about the cast didn’t end there either, as he went on to question the use of people such as Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis and others, as he cannot bring to mind anything they have previously done. The supporting cast of Space Jam in 1996 included turns by Muggsy Bogues, Shawn Bradley, Charles Barkley and the legend that is Bill Murray. Perhaps he had a point there.
While Pytka also ripped into the soundtrack of the movie as being “insignificant” when compared to the classic of 1996, it is the characterization of Bugs Bunny that has right royally narked the director the most. Talking about the original movie, he stressed how much they had attempted to keep the characters exactly as they were in the world of Looney Tunes, both in appearance and tone. His verdict of Bugs Bunny in Space Jam: A New Legacy came down to saying the new Bugs “looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long.”
While the original Space Jam earned as much of a panning as the current version is receiving from critics, it has gone on to build a huge cult following in the 25 years since its release. Whether the same will be said of A New Legacy in another two decades time is somewhat debatable. While Pytka said he is “not mad” about the new movie, he, like many others, just thinks it misses the mark. TMZ was the first to report Joe Pytka’s thoughts on Space Jam: A New Legacy.