Saturday, April 15, 2023

Air ---3 1/2 Stars --- THEATERS --- April 7, 2023

Air proves several things including: when Viola Davis makes a movie, it's worth seeing.  Also, when Matt Damon and Ben Affleck team up, the result's usually great. Air takes the story of how Nike convinced Michael Jordan to endorse their basketball shoes and turns it into a compelling human story about business and sports and thinking outside the box.  Matt Damon does the heavy lifting as basketball scout Sonny Vaccaro.  Working for Nike, Sonny's determined to find the key to Nike basketball shoe marketing success.  He keys on up-and-coming player Michael Jordan.  Sonny's gut feeling leads him to challenge Nike founder Phil Knight, played with goofy charm by Ben Affleck. Ignoring custom, Sonny travels to Jordan's parent's North Carolina front door, where he meets Deloris Jordan played by Viola Davis. Once Davis enters she steals the movie.  Nothing happens without her.  Air takes viewers into the world of reptilian agents, represented by Chris Messina in a hilarious portrait of Jordan's agent Daivd Falk, as well as Nike office politics, including colleagues played with gusto by Jason Bateman and Chris Tucker. A great soundtrack and recreation of 80s style adds to the fun.  Air melds a great business story, a great sports story, and a great story about a guy willing to ask the right questions at the right time.