Is it a sports movie? Is it a business flick? A media / marketing tale?
‘Air’ is all three – and it delivers in spades, in fact we’re talking movie of the year type discussions as you walk out of the cinema.
Directed by Ben Affleck, who also stars as the whacky Nike CEO and founder Phil Knight, the film focuses on the true events surrounding the origin of the Air Jordan shoeline.
Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) is a basketball nerd who spots something special in a young rising star by the name of Michael Jordan. Desperate to get Jordan to link with Nike, Vaccaro goes to extraordinary lengths to get his deal across the line – a deal that would ultimately chance sports merchandising forever.
‘Air’ gets so much right.
It refuses to just be a pat on the back or a promotional took for Nike – it acknowledges the company’s flaws, including in its CEO Knight, and challenges around some of its origins and manufacturing processes.
It also opts not to cast an actor to play Jordan in a lead role. Indeed, we only see required glimpses of Damian Delano Young – a smart play to ensure this didn’t become a Michael Jordan movie per se.
The casting is first class. Damon and Affleck are superb, while Jason Bateman is gold as marketing guru Robby Strasser. And Viola Davis as Jordan’s mother Deloris is nothing short of perfect.
‘Air’ shoots a three from centre court here – it’s brilliant.
See this movie at Hoyts Penrith.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.