Title – Air (2023)
Director – Ben Affleck (The Town)
Cast – Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, Chris Messina, Viola Davis, Chris Tucker
Plot – The story of how Nike, led by shoe salesman and basketball expert Sonny Vaccaro (Damon) courted future basketball legend before his career in the NBA started to partner with them to develop the now famous Air Jordan brand.
“You are remembered for the rules you break”
Review by Eddie on 12/05/2023
There are no rule-books being re-written here or anyone in a stacked ensemble cast delivering a performance they haven’t done countless times before as proven A-listers but that doesn’t stop Ben Affleck’s return to form as a director/star from excelling in a people pleasing fashion with the perfectly paced and quick-smart scripted Air likely to be one of 2023’s most easily accessible and enjoyable dramas.
Scripted by first time Hollywood screenwriter Alex Convery, who used his Covid-19 lockdown time and Netflix’s The Last Dance series to great effect, Air centres around the creation of the now famed Air Jordan brand developed by Nike in collaboration with NBA legend Michael Jordan, as everyday shoe salesman and basketball fan Sonny Vaccaro urged and led Nike to pursue the soon to be rookie on a deal that would pave the way for future generations of sporting superstars.
Played by Affleck’s long time friend and one time frequent collaborator Matt Damon, Vaccaro is the heart and soul of Affleck and Convery’s film which wisely chooses to shun Jordan to the bench in favour of allowing the Nike team behind the seemingly impossible deal to take hold of the starting 5 with many of Air’s scenes confined to either the Nike offices overseen by Jason Bateman’s Rob Strasser or Affleck’s comical like iteration of Nike head honcho Phil Knight but Air is never boring as it combines heart, humour and drama into one all round package that has been crafted to appease diehard sport fans and newbies alike.
Sporting a 80+ million dollar budget thanks to Amazon studios, who moved Air from a direct to streaming release to a successful enough cinematic run before hitting home audiences not long after, Air is concerned about the man at the heart of the brand many know and love today but it’s also a feature length throwback to a time gone by era with enough 80’s fashion, quips and more than a soundtrack worth of music dalliances (likely a reason why the films budget was so high for a talk heavy feature) to be enjoyed multiple ways and it’s clear the cast are all having fun working with one another, making the film a breeze to sit through.
Enjoying one of his more significant roles in recent years, Damon is as reliable as ever as the determined Vaccaro (delivering a late film speech that is goosebump inducing) while Bateman and Affleck provide solid support but Air’s true MVP’s end up being the supports of Viola Davis as Jordan’s beloved mother Deloris, while the now rarely seen Chris Tucker is as good as his ever been as Nike rep Howard White, making Air an all round effort that stays in its court, providing us with the type of quality entertainment one would hope to expect, without ever attempting any outrages moves along the way.
Final Say –
A high quality workmanlike true life drama that thrives off a fascinating subject matter, colourful characters/performances and a razor sharp script, Air is another win for Affleck the director and one of 2023’s most accessible offerings.
4 office couches out of 5
Wasn’t sure if I’d ‘care’ about this one, but everyone seems to love it… so another on the ever-extensive list, haha!
Add it to the list mate! It’s very hard not to enjoy this one and how it’s been put together.
One that I was going to pass until I read this. Sounds like a good movie, and I’ve taken an interest into these old “backstory” movies since I watched Tetris. Looking forward to Blackberry too.
Very much worth the time mate especially now its available at home too. Can’t wait to see Blackberry can’t seem to find out when it hits down here in Australia but hopefully not too far away.