The year is 1984 and the Oregon based company, Nike, are on the verge of closing their basketball division for good, due to the low number of sales and failure in the market, compared to Converse and Adidas. In response, a cluster of Nike employees conjure up a plan to find a new spokesperson for their shoe brand – Michael Jordan, one of the entries into the 1984 NBA draft and overall, third pick. Air is a fantastically written and produced drama that has recently been released on Amazon Prime Video.
Director: Ben Affleck
Writers: Alex Convery
Starring: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker, Viola Davis
Typically speaking, I tend to regard drama based true stories as worthy of a watch, especially those that cover the world of sports, which many of us adore. Air serves as a great insight in how a company like Nike dived into the recruitment process for sponsorship of the next generation of sporting superstars, making bold risks in the process, and ultimately becoming the megabrand they are today. Interestingly, the flick also received a theoretical release despite being an Amazon Prime exclusive.
In any drama, dialogue plays a huge role and in Air, this was no different. The dialogue here was quick, precise and at times humerous, and refreshingly there was no agenda shoved into the faces of the audience, nor were there any politics to go with the just under two-hour runtime. There was also a very dated but fitting and upbeat soundtrack to go with the majority of the film, which complimented the 1984 setting perfectly. The soundtrack included artists such as The Clash, Dire Straits, George Clinton, Tangerine Dream and more.
The cinematography also seemed very accurate for a film of this age, with the entire picture being shot and filmed in Los Angeles, California. Not only was the cinematography accurate, but the costume and set design was too – both of which seemed colourful, easy on the eye and stylish adjacently.
In terms of the cast, Matt Damon starred as the lead man, and as described in the flick, the “Mr Myiagi of High-School basketball scouting”, while Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman and Chris Tucker provided hefty support in their roles of Phil Knight, Rob Strasser and Howard White, respectively. Elsewhere, Viola Davis, Julius Tennon and Damian Delano Young posed as the Jordan family and were featured prominently throughout.
All in all, Air served as a brilliant stand-alone drama that leaves the viewer wanting more after witnessing the real-life story of how Nike exploded in popularity around the Michael Jordan era. Not only this, but the old-school American feel that the filmmakers brought to the big screen makes the film worthy of a watch on its own. It’s worth repeating that Air is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
“A shoe is just a shoe until someone steps into it.”
Sonny Vaccaro – Air
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