Film Review: Air

Air is an enthralling and heartwarming film that delves into the infamous partnership between Nike and Michael Jordan. It encapsulates a waltz between the highs and lows of pursuing a dream beyond the odds. The film exudes feel good endorphins at its core, leaving an uplifting lasting impression.

Directed by award-winning director and actor Ben Affleck, he is joined by a strong cast including the likes of Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Tucker and Viola Davis. The comedic drama reveals the decision making being the historical deal between the brand Nike and basketball player Michael Jordan. Although Nike and Michael Jordan are synonymous with each other, back in the 80s it was a partnership that was unfathomable. That was before Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) had the vision to revolutionise the Nike name and take the leap to convince rising sports star Michael Jordan to partner with Nike. Battling with his colleagues at Nike to align them with his vision, it becomes his mission to not only win over the hearts of his colleagues but also the people most important to Michael Jordan, who happen to be his parents. 

Opening with a powerful montage, the beginning of the film was poignant as it transported viewers into the heart and soul of the 80s. Using an array of clips that summarised key pop culture moments of the 80’s the film set the mood by showcasing the cultural climate at the time in the realm of the entertainment world and beyond. The choice to use the montage to set the tone of the film was effective as it propelled the viewer with a taste of what to expect. There is something inherently nostalgic about the 80s, it is a decade that has been documented thoroughly through TV and film. Shows such as Stranger Things and films such as Super 8 have increased people’s fascination and appetite to consume stories set in that era. Seemingly a much simpler era, before technology became ingrained in daily life, films of that decade gleamed with imagination and the notion that the world is your oyster and the core of the film Air proves to be no different.

A story of perseverance Sonny Vaccaro epitomises how passion, drive and belief can surpass the odds. His un-withering vision gets tested to the point of failure and the film documents the highs and lows through humour, joy and sentimental moments. Air tickled a spectrum of emotions and executed them perfectly and viewers are guided through a rollercoaster of emotions mimicking the fragility of what has been the sports deal of a lifetime. Although the stakes were extremely high the film was incredibly funny and characters such as sports agent David Falk (Chris Messina) and Nike employee Howard White (Chris Tucker) brought a seamless comedic edge to the film. The comedy sequences were scattered throughout the film and shone through firmly as it kept the plot fresh and captivating. The character of Peter Moore (Matthew Maher) who designed the Air Jordan shoe also had some brilliant on screen moments that were both humorous and endearing.

A highly recommended watch, Air brilliantly tells a story of not losing sight of a dream, even though others may not see that same vision. The camaraderie between characters is  a testament to why the story was told and it showcases the different puzzle pieces that had to fit together to create the deal that revolutionised the world of sports. The film gave a holistic view into the moving parts of the deal, from the people working at Nike, what competitors were doing at the time and even the team behind Michael Jordan. Rather than Air becoming a film about Michael Jordan the movie cleverly puts Michael Jordan at the forefront, without actually being in the forefront. The focus lent itself more towards Michael Jordan’s parents, which was a great choice as it amplified how the deal was even bigger than Michael Jordan himself and how it created his legacy.

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