Director: Ben Affleck
It’s when you see a movie like Air, that has no business being as good as it is, that you wonder, why isn’t it easier for filmmakers to just …make awesome films? Ben Affleck & Matt Damon & Co. can do it so easily, with a story that’s kinda niche, with a plot that seems only slightly interesting, with an idea that’s maybe dated, maybe has a ceiling, maybe isn’t reinventing the wheel; why can’t everybody? Well, that’s talent for you I guess, that’s skill shining through, and Air is just an example of the probability that they could take any tale and make it watchable and interesting, because some people just have It.
This is the blossoming of Michael Jordan and Nike, the historic partnership, where it all began, from humble start to legendary finish. In the early 80s, Nike was floundering, seen only as a running shoe and not able to break in other places, namely the NBA. Adidas and Converse had the market cornered, that is, until Sonny Vaccaro staked his career and Nike’s future on winning just one client; Michael Jordan. But it wasn’t just Michael that they needed, it was a shoe that was more than apparel, that reached iconic status, becoming something that defined a generation. So began Air Jordan, and the rest is history.
I’m not sure, if you put this idea down on paper, that I would bet it would become a great movie. Add in the team, the cast & crew, and, sure, I start to understand, but I’m still not positive that I’d put money on its success. It’s just a little too specific …until it isn’t, and I guess that’s where the magic happens. This story is Michael Jordan and Nike, yes, but it’s also the 80s, it’s underdogs, it’s legends in the making, it’s greatness in our faces, it’s so many little things. And it’s those little things done well, too; the music, the timing, the quickness, the small performances (Chris Tucker, ladies and gentlemen), and the It Factor that you just can’t put your finger on. Air turns out to be a great film, one that we’ll remember long after this Spring, and one that might even make some noise this Oscar season.
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆