Air, rated R
The enjoyable film, about the true story of Nike’s pursuit of Michael Jordan, was directed by Ben Affleck (Argo) and written by Alex Convery. Set in 1984, the film is about shoe company Nike and their fledgling basketball shoe division, which is doing so poorly that it may soon be shut down. Nike basketball shoes, with just 17% of the market, are a distant third place behind Adidas and Converse.
Rob Strasser, head of Nike’s basketball shoe division, played by Emmy winner Jason Bateman (Ozark), has a relatively small budget ($250,000), and he is working with his team to identify three lower tier players in the upcoming draft to divide the money up with. The top players are considered out of reach for Nike. But the slightly overweight sales person Sonny Vaccaro, played by Oscar winner Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting), who as part of his job goes to high school basketball tournaments and then adds a stop in Las Vegas, comes up with his own gamble that could put Nike basketball shoes on the map. His idea is to give their entire basketball shoe budget to Michael Jordan from North Carolina. Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight, played by two-time Oscar winner Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting, Argo), thinks that is a crazy idea that the board will never go for. Strasser and Howard White, played by Chris Tucker (Rush Hour) try to discourage Sonny. In addition, Jordan, through his agent David Falk, played by Chris Messina has made it clear that he will be signing with Adidas.
After talking to coach George Raveling, played by Marlon Wayans, Damon decides to bypass Falk and go to Wilmington, North Carolina without an appointment and speak directly to Jordan’s mother Deloris, played by Viola Davis. (Jordan’s one request to Affleck was that Davis would portray his mother).
The film does a good job with music from the period, along with the clothing, cars, phones, etc. thanks to the cinematography by three-time Oscar winner Robert Richardson (Hugo, The Aviator, JFK), and costume designer Charlese Antoinette Jones.
The film features a strong cast, a good script, and the acting is top notch, especially Davis and Damon. The film is rated “R” for language. Click on the link below to see what is true/false in the film. https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/air-movie/