Air is directed by Ben Affleck. The film stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, and Viola Davis.
When Michael Jordan signed his deal with Nike, it completely changed how endorsement deals were conducted with sportsmen. Air tells the story of the Nike employees behind the agreement and how they stole the Jordan signature from the grips of Adidas and Converse.
In its essence, Air is a film about believing in yourself and others. What are you prepared to lose if you wholeheartedly believe in something and decide to act on it, even if everyone else tells you it can’t be done. One of the only drawbacks of the film is an aspect which cannot be solved, and that is the fact that we know Michael Jordan signed with Nike, and the risk-taking from Sonny Vaccaro was always going to end in success.
Even with the drawback of knowing the ending, the film still manages to pull all kinds of emotions out of the audience. Mainly due to the stellar performances of the cast, with Viola Davis once again being the standout performer. Let’s thank Michael Jordan for that one, as he demanded that she play his mother in the film when Affleck originally only had Deloris Jordan having one line in the script. Simply a masterful decision; anytime you can get Viola Davis in your film, you must make the needed changes. Affleck is a fine actor, but it is directing where he truly excels.
When Matt Damon and Ben Affleck team up in any capacity, the result usually is excellence. There is something about their partnership that works. The idea of the film and believing in yourself and others really resonates with these two. The familiarity with each other was evident and vital in establishing the dynamic between Vaccaro and Knight.
The script from Alex Convery is exceptionally tight. Every scene has a purpose, and there is no fluff involved. As a result, the film is much funnier than the trailer had led me to believe it would be. I found myself chuckling more than I had anticipated and, at one point, was extremely close to tears. However, the tone stays consistent throughout, and when Vaccaro gets his big moment to show how much he believes in Jordan is when the film hits its climax. It is a beautiful and tear-jerking scene that ties the film up brilliantly.
Any time a film is set in the 80s, you open it up to many brilliant soundtrack choices, and Air takes advantage of this. The urge to bop your head along to every song that comes on is way too strong. Not only do they fit the film’s vibe, but they bring different emotions to each scene they overlay. The discussion regarding Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen in the film is a brilliant touch, and when the song finally plays as the film ends, you listen to it with a fresh perspective.
Air shows that if you fully believe in something, you should let no one get in the way of chasing what you want.