Every movie that’s considered one of the greatest films ever is a fraud. The Godfather can off itself. The Dark Knight? The Dark Who? The Shawshank Redemption can eat a bag of ass. Stars Wars Episode 5: The Return Of Who Gives a Rats Ass. Schindler’s List? Actually, I probably shouldn’t say anything about that one.
My point is this: This month, Space Jam turns 20 years old. It makes me feel pretty old that this modern American classic has now been in our cultural zeitgeist for two decades on the dot. Next year, the film can legally get drunk. Some classic movies don’t hold up well. Sometimes they end up feeling corny, or they just feel irrelevant, or they’re a product of their decade and Father Time has casted a harsher light on them. Fortunately, this did not happen with our beloved Space Jam. This movie is, and will always be, the most important and influential piece of cinema of this, or any, generation. Art like this only comes around once in a lifetime, folks. Soak it up.
Every ’90s kid remembers Space Jam. Mostly because it combined America’s two most iconic heroes: Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. While their legacies have been slightly tainted (MJ is now mostly known for dressing terribly and a meme where he cried one time, and Bugs Bunny is currently in prison for aggravated assault and possession of cocaine), their status as the two most important men in the history of the planet still stands. And when their worlds collided, every ’90s kid collectively busted a nut even though they hadn’t even gone through puberty yet.
Every dude who grew up in the ’90s or early 2000s was obsessed with Michael Jordan. He was every kid’s hero. And why wouldn’t he be? The man was a walking god. To put it simply, if you were a kid in the ’90s and MJ wasn’t your hero, you’re a sociopath. You’re definitely a full blown serial killer with a pile of dead hookers in your basement and a lampshade made of scrotums. You’re a monster. Hollywood knew how popular Michael Jordan was with the kids, so they combined him with the Looney Tunes and and society was never the same.
Let’s briefly break down why Space Jam is the most significant piece of pop culture to ever grace our lives.
1. As I said, Michael Jordan is in it.
2. The soundtrack is wonderful. R. Kelly had every ’90s kid believing they could fly. That song was so beautiful and inspiring that we gave him a pass when he started turning women into his personal urinals.
3. Bill goddamn Murray is in it. Enough said.
4. Every confused five-year-old boy kinda wanted to fuck Lola Bunny.
5. It’s a perfect capsule for ’90s pop culture.
6. That scene where the little alien dudes morph into the Monstars.
7. It’s a quadrillion times better than every movie in the IMDB top 250 combined.
8. It singlehandedly ended the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
9. It cured cancer.
It (obviously) deserved to win Best Picture at the Oscars but instead the award was given to some lame-ass movie called The English Patient that you didn’t even know existed until I mentioned it just now. Every year, rumors rumble that they’ll make a sequel with LeBron. Nothing has materialized yet but you never know. LeBron was actually fucking hilarious in Trainwreck so I think it could work well.
So If you ever get a chance, enjoy a blast from the past. Revisit your childhood and watch Space Jam again. It takes us back to a simpler time. Back when we thought adults knew everything, when we played games and didn’t have to get jobs or go to school, when Santa still existed, and we still thought Bill Cosby was a wholesome fatherly figure. Shit gets real and life loses light, but Space Jam will always be there.
It’s the peak of human achievement, right next to the pyramids and internet porn. What do Shakespeare, Da Vinci, and Beethoven all have in common? They’ve never created anything as good as Space Jam..