Air – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Air – Worth, Risks and Icons: Let’s Be Like Mike

In this world we live, breathe and always … take risks.  With each step upon chance, there is a string waiting to be pulled, cut or tied.  No matter the choice, it comes down to the possibility.  In film, when a story has an expected outcome … can you make the path worthy?  For all that is, if the journey can grip … then it is worth it in end.  In this review, I look at a film based on real events.  For all its popularity, the journey is what makes the iconic Air Jordans worth the risks.  Through the strength of direction and writing, Air is a remarkable journey of how a dream became the path … for an icon. 

This is the story of how one shoe salesman transformed the basketball industry through Nike’s signing of Michael Jordan.  With any true event inspired film, what will make or break the experience is the story.  In the beginning, we are introduced to Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon).  He is a talent acquisition scout for Nike’s sports division.  In the first act, through conversational methods, we are thrust into his working environment while also being introduced to his main cohorts: Rob Strasser (Jason Bateman) and Howard White (Chris Tucker).  Through their conversations, we learn that it is 1984 and Nike is struggling in sales (3rd place behind Adidas and Converse).  With the latest NBA draft over, they are instructed by Nike’s CEO, Phil Knight (Ben Affleck), to find a basketball athlete that can save their division.  As ideas get floated for some of the up-and-coming athletes, Vaccaro believes the only way to save their division is putting their full budget behind one: Michael Jordan.  This sets the stage for the rest of the film, as Vaccaro goes to all stops to get Jordan to Nike’s HQ to hear their pitch, believing that this is a rookie that will transform the industry.  As mentioned earlier, the outcome is something that most (if not everyone) knows.  Air Jordans are the most iconic shoe in the world, worth billions in revenue for Nike.  For all that is known, the story’s worth comes in the form of the intuitive script and enthralling acting from the cast.  From the comradery to everyone’s unique passion, the path to getting through all the ‘red tape’ and the competitors is grounded through dialogue and emotional appeal.  For all that is expected, it is the conversations between Vaccaro and the rest of the cast that generates that tension that is ironic, relenting, and real.  The fervor and fragility of the pursuit is raised above through a strong script, where the dialogue delivered feels authentic and purposeful.  You see an impossible task at hand, but because of one man’s vision, it is his belief that makes (the audience) see the risk is worth taking.  

With everything looking like an unclimbable wall, Vaccaro takes certain risks (seeing the family personally) to showcase the truth of his vision.  When Vaccaro meets with Mrs. Jordan (Viola Davis), there is a connective messaging that shows how the personal becomes part of the business.  From this point, it becomes a matter of fate (and circumstantial plot moments) that lead to the meeting of a lifetime.  With everything on the line, we head into a finale that highlights the strength of the film (the script).  With the inevitable in sight, you see how the outcome is elevated because of the pursuit of the impossible dream. Air is a true event film that is a powerful message of risks in the journey.  With a strong script and cast, this is an experience of unforgettable feats.  If you are a fan of true stories, the cast or great character films, this is one for you.  This is truly … an award worthy experience. 

Full Score – 4.5 out of 5 (Award Worthy)

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