I’m going to spoil the tip of House Jam: A New Legacy. I’m very sorry. House Jam, as a franchise, is identified for its intricate plotting that closely foreshadows fastidiously constructed climaxes, because the Jungian archetype that every Looney Tunes character represents performs off the extra Freudian psychology of the NBA gamers they’re juxtaposed towards for a end that’s each satisfying and thematically wealthy. It’s additionally a film for youngsters, and should subsequently conclude with an ending that speaks to the kid in all of us: By being nice and in addition fully predictable.
So after all, House Jam: A New Legacy kills Bugs Bunny.
In the long run, video video games do the wily hare in. In contrast to the unique movie, the climactic sports activities showdown in House Jam: A New Legacy isn’t actually a basketball recreation. As a substitute, LeBron James and the Toon Squad are dealing with off towards the Goon Squad in Dom Ball, a online game made by LeBron’s son, Dom. Dom calls it “basketball, however higher,” which (1) offends LeBron deeply and (2) is form of true. There are not any power-ups within the NBA (simply cool sneakers), and whereas I believe basketball is already fairly candy, it is perhaps even higher if, like Dom Ball, it had a little bit of Mario Kart thrown in there.
Aside from the obscure notion of video game-style power-ups, there are not any clear guidelines to Dom Ball — however not in a enjoyable manner. Extra in a complicated, how-do-we-know-who’s-going-to-win? manner. (The perfect and worst second of that is when a thousand-point deficit is closed with a reasonably nice Wile E. Coyote gag involving a ball-multiplier machine that comes out of nowhere just because it’s time for the sport to finish.) The one factor that’s clear is that, for the reason that recreation is going down within the Warner Bros. ServerVerse managed by the sentient algorithm Al-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle), the whole recreation is dictated by his whims. Thus, it’s unimaginable to truly beat Al-G, as a result of he can at all times cheat.
There may be, nevertheless, a flaw in Dom Ball: Dom, eager to pay tribute to his star father, included a signature transfer LeBron taught him, and put it within the recreation. Dom wasn’t capable of end although, and doing the transfer causes Dom Ball to glitch out, and the character who carried out it to be deleted perpetually. Within the climax of A New Legacy, Dom thinks this is perhaps true of Al-G’s model of Dom Ball too, and that inflicting the glitch will trigger Al-G to lose management — on the expense of 1 participant being deleted perpetually.
LeBron desires to be the one to sacrifice himself, however simply earlier than he’s about to catch the ball, Bugs intercepts it and performs The Transfer as a substitute. And the gambit works! The Toons win, the day is saved, and Bugs is mourned on Toon World as he appears to ascend to the heavens in what’s possibly probably the most weird scene in a completely weird film.
House Jam: A New Legacy performs this complete factor with lethal seriousness, too! There’s no wink on the digital camera, no gag undercutting the second. It’s a Bugs Bunny dying scene, full cease. In fact, a couple of minutes later, we discover out that Bugs Bunny is now in the actual world visiting LeBron, which, if they’re like me, will ship viewers on an existential spiral.
Do Toons go to the actual world once they die? In that case, is our world heaven or hell? Bugs later tells LeBron that he’s not alone, and different Toons got here with him. Does that imply additionally they needed to die? How did that occur, on condition that their complete schtick is surviving issues that kill them, like a number of metric tons of dynamite? Are the Looney Tunes now a dying cult? Or is that actually Bugs Bunny on the finish of the movie? Possibly he’s a Cylon? Or a Cylon equal based mostly on no matter Warner Bros. franchise is closest to Battlestar Galactica? Possibly video video games are unhealthy as a result of they killed Bugs Bunny?
This final query is maybe probably the most fascinating ethical quandary House Jam: A New Legacy presents audiences with, a conflict between the id of gaming and the ego of the scheming rabbit, suggesting, on the very terrace of one thing referred to as the “E3 Summer time Sport Camp” that the latter will at all times subsume the previous, and that this Werner Herzog impression I’ve half-committed to illustrates how unmooring it’s to look at a film that works very onerous to render every part it depicts totally meaningless.
In fact, the House Jam franchise can redeem itself in a sequel that I do know higher than to dread. No, one other House Jam could be a chance, a film that might actually tackle the Large Questions recommended right here, one which lays apart the cowardice and provides us, as soon as and for all, a showdown between the Looney Tunes and the King of Gaming: Gerard Butler, star of Gamer. And this time, the bunny stays useless.