Story time: I work in retail, specifically in toys. And while pushing toys onto the floor, one of co-workers were talking about how the original “Space Jam” movie was better than the sequel and turned to me. I told him I haven’t seen either of them (might check them out in the future) and we talked about good this 2003 film was. And as I left for the day, I decided to return to this movie and see how it holds up.
After a reading of the famous “Rabbit Fire” episode, Daffy Duck expresses issues with always being the butt of the joke to the writers and executives, and he’s fired by executive Kate Houghton (Jenna Elfman). While being escorted out of the Warner Brothers building, Daffy escapes and causes a chase with security guard Damian (Brendan Fraser). After getting fired, he gets a message from his father (Timothy Dalton), who calls him for help to find the Blue Monkey, a gem that can turn people into monkeys. Joined by Kate and Bugs Bunny, the two race for the Blue Monkey before Mr. Chairman (Steve Martin), the head of the Acme Corporation who wants to use the gem to enslave the world to manufacture his products.
Overall, the cast does a solid job in this movie. For all the jokes I’ve heard about him, Brendan Fraser can be a pretty good actor. While he doesn’t have Nathan Fillion-levels of charm, he definitely does have enough to carry the movie. And Jenna Elfman does a good job along with the rest of the cast, and has amazing banter with Bugs and Damian. As the voice of nearly every Looney Tune, the late Joe Alaskey brings each and every one of them to life, with Bugs and Daffy being the highlight of his work. Daffy toes the line between sympathetic and just plain pathetic and chews the scenery like gum. Bugs Bunny on the other hand has the kind of snark and takes enough blows to the fourth wall that it feels like I was watching Deadpool before Ryan Reynolds took a crack at the character. The only weak link, however is Steve Martin; while it isn’t necessarily bad, it feels like Martin is trying a little too hard to emulate Mike Meyers’ Dr. Evil.
There’s nothing too special to the story; a road trip-spy movie with the Looney Tunes. But as the saying goes, it’s all about the journey, not the destination. And oh boy, is this one hell of a journey. Each scene is a series of jokes and set gags that ties perfectly with the situation. Whether it’s an Area 51-esque alien attack that pays homage to classic sci-fi or Bugs and Daffy being chased by Elmer Fudd in numerous paintings and emulating their artwork, anything could be said about this movie, but boring is not one of them.
I used to watch this a lot on Starz at my Nana’s house when I was kid and loved this movie, and it was nice to see that it was just as entertaining as I remembered it. With a solid cast and entertaining action sequences, this is definitely a movie worth another visit.