AIR is the story of a sneaker. Not just any sneaker, mind you, but the sneaker that changed the world. Really? And even though AIR is very entertaining, it’s still just about a sneaker.
When Michael Jordan was ready to debut in the NBA for The Chicago Bulls in 1983, Nike was hardly the sneaker powerhouse it is today. Converse and Adidas were the cool sneakers that cornered the market. So, Nike went all in, trying to lure Michael Jordan away from these two giants by creating a sneaker for him to wear and for his fans to spend huge amounts of money buying.
If you were a big basketball fan in the mid-1980s, you may fondly reminisce about your youth and saving up for a pair of “Air Jordans.” But that was 40 years ago, and Michael retired from basketball twenty years ago.
With that said, the sheer volume of talent makes this movie so much better than it should be. Director Ben Affleck has put together a stellar team to tell the story of Sonny Vaccaro, played amiably by Matt Damon, who signed Michael Jordan and whose team created the iconic sneaker. Ben appears to be having the most fun, sporting a curly wig and playing the insecure CEO of Nike, and thanks to the sharp writing by Alex Convery, the not-so-quite-compelling story keeps dribbling to its inevitable success.
AIR is currently available on Prime Video.