Summary

Ben Affleck's "Air" takes a nostalgic leap into the birth of Air Jordan, but it doesn't fly like Mike.

Air review: a slam dunk or an air ball?

Ben Affleck’s “Air” takes a nostalgic leap into the birth of Air Jordan, but does it soar or stumble when faced with the gritty realities of the sports marketing world?

Prepare for liftoff as we dive into Ben Affleck’s latest directorial effort, “Air.” This film recounts the rise of the iconic Air Jordan brand and the marriage of capitalism and sports marketing that spawned it.

“Air” shares the court with works like HBO’s “Winning Time” and ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary on Sonny Vaccaro. While these productions offer a more unvarnished examination of their subjects, “Air” goes for a glossier, feel-good approach that celebrates the birth of the Air Jordan empire.

The film boasts an impressive cast, including Matt Damon as Nike recruiter Sonny Vaccaro and Viola Davis as Michael Jordan’s mother, Deloris. However, it falls short in exploring the complexities and challenges faced by the real-life characters, glossing over the predatory nature of talent scouting and the long-term consequences of their choices.

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There are memorable scenes in “Air,” such as the crucial negotiation between Vaccaro and Jordan’s agent David Falk (played by Chris Messina). Yet, the final scene with Viola Davis, intended as an emotional high point, falls flat, lacking the gravitas this Oscar-winning actress deserves. She is impeccable, but the scene just didn’t do what is was supposed to do.

“Air” takes a nostalgic trip down memory lane but struggles to balance its celebratory message with the darker realities of the sports marketing world. While entertaining, the film ultimately feels like a missed opportunity to delve deeper into the fascinating intersection of sports, business, and race. In the end, “Air” is an enjoyable watch but may leave you wanting more substance as the credits roll.

A costly air ball that failed to beat the buzzer.

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Ben Affleck's "Air" takes a nostalgic leap into the birth of Air Jordan, but it doesn't fly like Mike.Air review: a slam dunk or an air ball?