This has been bugging me since I was seven, but with other events happening over the past decade and a bit, this faded to the back of my mind. However, the Nostalgia Critic review of Space Jam brought it all back. So, I have just one question.
WHY THE FUCK WAS BILL MURRAY IN SPACE JAM?!
There we go, that bout of shouting is over. But on a more serious note, I cannot think of any legitimate reason for his presence in this movie. If Space Jam was a sitcom (that would be some weird sitcom), his appearance would be the equivalent of a guest star walking on and waiting ten minutes for the applause to die down. It’s an extended walk-on cameo, that’s what it is. I have no love for the campy sitcom style walk-on at the best of times in the best of programmes, but this was absolutely pointless. Michael Jordan even unintentionally comments on this with his facial expression; rolling his eyes at him and stuff. That’s supposed to be because Murray is commandeering the plan, but we know better. They did not need him for this, he came in for two reasons. The first reason, to give the viewer new hope after the dramatic knocking-out of one of the regular Toons (or something like that), that they might save the day after all. The second reason was purely because he was friends with the producer of the film. It wouldn’t be so bad, but this isn’t even acknowledged within the film, it just gives you some crap about how Bill Murray is ‘following his dream’ by playing in this game. I’m pretty sure Bill Murray never dreamed that one day he would be doing a walk-on for an animated/live action movie, in which he helps to defeat some animated space monsters in a basketball game. Now, I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, as hopes and dreams go that is oddly specific.
I mentioned earlier how it wasn’t even acknowledged within the film that Bill Murray is suddenly there to take up the mantle and defeat space aliens. I would have loved for the characters to comment on this within the movie; I imagine this exchange occurring:
Michael Jordan: “Hey, what are you doing here? Aren’t you an actor?”
Bill Murray: “If you can play baseball, I can play basketball.”
Porky Pig: “That’s all we’re saying about that, folks.”
One thing (just one?) that I don’t like about this is that he seems to show up at exactly the right moment (he even sings out his entrance) to help in the big game. Maybe Bill Murray spends his spare time buried in a chamber inside a mountain, waiting for the next threat to planet Earth so he can save the day again! Oh wait, he spends his spare time in his house dressed and acting like a zombie, before getting shot. I disapproved of his cameo in Zombieland as well, while we’re discussing this. The common element with Bill Murray cameos is that they only have him because they can get him. It clearly doesn’t matter if they need him for the movie.
And another thing, if he was friends with the producer of this film, then what the hell does he need an agent for? His agent must’ve sat down, watched this and said “Well, there goes my 10%.” It really goes to prove the old celebrity adage, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.