A JAM GOOD TIME!
by Lindsay Moylan
When basketball’s biggest icon, Michael Jordan, and Nintendo’s biggest video game character, Mario, join forces in the live-action/animated movie Space Jam 2: Time Jam, it makes for a jam good time! During its debut weekend, the comedy was No. 16 at the box office and grossed $1.2 thousand.
In his return to the big screen, Jordan portrays himself. As a retired basketball player turned undershirt spokesman and steakhouse proprietor, the popular athlete unexpectedly finds himself re-entering the basketball arena once again in the most unusual way.
Mario challenges a group of small, cranky creatures from the future to a basketball game when they learn that Zedd Butt (the voice of Jack Black), their mean leader, has sent them to the past to erase Mario and his friends, for a video-game free future, I think? It wasn’t explained very clearly.
The sports icon is called upon to coach and play basketball with Mario and his all star team consisting of famous names such as the barrel-tossing Donkey Kong, the high-speed Sonic the Hedgehog, and The Legend of Zelda’s sword-wielding hero Link. If the team wins, they can remain free. But, if they lose, they will be erased from some sort of hard drive or something.
Due to a time warp (and this is where I got a bit lost), Jordan encounters his 14-year-old self (portrayed by the scene-stealing Bobb'e J. Thompson), who reinvigorates the “spirit of the court” in the aging star. With a fresh outlook on life, and the help of a foul-mouthed machine gun toting ringer in Duke Nukem, Mario’s team emerges victorious at the end.
Space Jam 2: Time Jam also stars Jon Lovitz and Deepak Chopra, who portray themselves, Paul Giamatti, who is Diropolous Constantine, Jordan’s dedicated (and hilariously Greek) publicist, and Theresa Randle, who reprises her role from the first Space Jam as Jordan’s wife, Juanita.
The film moves very quickly, clocking in at 53 minutes, and features some explicit language from both Thompson and Nukem, making it a hard PG-13. Still, hardcore video game and basketball fans will enjoy the inside jokes (Lovitz’s “mushroom addiction”) and surprising cameos (Grant Hill!) enough to make it worth the price of admission (or $5.00 download on MySpace TV). You only need to be a hardcore fan of fun to enjoy this jam good time of a movie!