“Air:” A Look Into the People Behind the Legend

“Air” is a smash hit success

Annabelle Mackey, Staff Writer

With the fast-paced dialogue, strong cast, and ‘80s themes, “Air” hits all the slam dunks for movie quality and ties together a delightful cinematic experience. Pull out your popcorn for an exciting game. This time it’s away from the basketball courts and instead in the feuds of Nike executives.  The creators of “Good Will Hunting,” Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, reunite once again to produce the sports drama about one of the biggest business deals in the sports industry, Air Jordan.

Set in 1984 Oregon, “Air” follows Sonny Vaccaro (portrayed by Matt Damon), a talent scout for the failing basketball division of Nike, assigned with the task of finding a new Nike spokesperson. After having an epiphany while simultaneously watching an Arthur Ashe commercial and college basketball tapes one evening, Sonny discovers that Michael Jordan is the player that might just save the company. In comes Phil Knight (portrayed by Ben Affleck), CEO of Nike, whom Sonny must convince to direct the budget for the brand deal to an investment entirely in Michael Jordan. Reluctant at first to go through with the business deal, Sonny’s colleagues eventually agree to get Jordan onboard for the brand deal that will revolutionize the sneaker industry. Jordan, however, has his eyes set on securing a deal with Adidas…and a flashy Mercedes Benz. This sets the tone for a series of negotiations that lead to the renowned, multi-billion dollar brand. 

The film takes us through the ups and downs of the business deal, and the persuasion used in order to win Jordan over Nike competitors Adidas and Converse. Particularly, “Air” highlights the back and forth conversations between Sonny Vaccaro and Jordan’s parents (played by Viola Davis and Julius Tennon), as well as Michael Jordan’s manager, the spitfire David Falk (played by Chris Messina).

Overall, “Air” did not surprise in its phenomenal performance. Viola Davis’ portrayal of Deloris Jordan was particularly excellent, displaying how impactful Michael Jordan’s parents were in his success. The choice of excluding Michael Jordan’s face further enhanced the film and honored the basketball star as including a fake portrayal of Jordan would take away the reality the movie attempts to capture. In addition, the perfect mix of humor and solemnity in the performances of Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Jason Bateman was refreshing. Not to mention, the excellent score of all the classic ‘80s music was the perfect way to tie the film together in the most nostalgic style. Through humor and drama, “Air” leaves you on a satisfied note, yet still begging for more. In accordance with its excellency, this production receives 4.5 stars.