“Air” (2023)- Movie Review

Director: Ben Affleck

Starring: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Viola Davis

                                                                                                   ‘Brilliant Biopic’

Few companies are as skilled at creating shoes through teamwork use as Nike. Ever since its 1960’s inception, Nike is an organization that achieves dreams through collaboration. Social network collaboration is crucial to success of the organization. As delicious as McDonald’s burgers, the company’s success is result of multiple people working together rather than a single founder. Following Apple’s example, the corporation has focused upon teams fulfilling jobs to overcome obstacles. The company’s dependence upon teamwork dates back toward the 1980’s. Before it became the world’s greatest shoe company, Nike endured financial difficulties. During a time when the company’s finances were up in the air, it attempted to create footwear about which people would care. Barely making ends meet, it pulled of a feat by designing shoes for an athlete. In 1984, the company took a big chance forming partners with athlete Michael Jordan before his last dance.  Despite allowing the association to achieve its mission, teamwork doesn’t suit everyone. Based on personal perspectives, I’m rarely effective at working with teams to achieve objectives. I recollect being treated without respect on a university project. My shy personality affected the group adversely. Afraid of judgement, I made no effort to argue after my peers lowered my grade. Unable to leave my past behind, the group is etched in my mind. It made me aware teamwork isn’t as simple as companies make it appear. How did Nike build teams to fulfill dreams?

Collaboration contributing towards Nike’s achievements as an organization is portrayed in Ben Affleck’s latest film “Air”. Ambitious, heartwarming and thrilling, it explores teamwork formulating one of the world’s greatest stores people adore. Affleck honors forgotten figures that crafted world-famous sneakers. Boasting exquisite production-design, soul-stirring storytelling and phenomenal performances, it’s a breathtaking biography. Although “Air” is unforgettable, it isn’t flawless. It builds towards foreseeable conclusions. Nevertheless, it offers exhilarating entertainment for Nike fans.

Based on true events, “Air” follows Nike’s team that overcame fear risking their career to design footwear. Matt Damon embodies Sonny Vacarro, a marketing executive seeking to save dire empires by creating products people admire. Sonny’s dreams align when he decides to design shoe lines for athlete Michael Jordan. However, Sonny discovers convincing Michael’s mother (Viola Davis) about his dream isn’t as easy as it may seem. Running out of steam, Sonny assembles teams accomplishing dreams. 

Ben Affleck is fascinated with themes of teams fulfilling dreams. Following “Gone Baby Gone”, Affleck has become a fantastic filmmaker. Whether its detectives investigating murders, bank robbers collaborating together or CIA agents in danger, his films follow teams. With “Air”, however, Affleck crafts a sports drama. It’s the filmmaker’s attempt to dramatize Nike’s franchise rise, but he succeeds. Evoking David Fincher’s “The Social Network”, Affleck capture the organization’s social network collaboration through cross-cutting. Like Mark Zuckerberg’s mission creating social network collaboration, Sonny assembles teams achieving shoe production. Cross-cutting is a tricky technique. Following origination in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”, cross-cutting is used to build tension. Affleck’s “The Town” proved cross-cutting elevates bank robberies movies. However, it succeeds. Alongside cinematographer Robert Richardson, Affleck celebrates Nike. Affleck commemorates teamwork, creating theatrical viewing.

If footwear companies don’t attract attention, however, there’s several reasons to see “Air”. Assisted by production-designer Francois Audouy, Affleck honors Nike’s efforts recruiting basketball players. For instance, footage celebrates Michael Jordan’s legacy during the partnership scene. During this unforgettable scene, Sonny delivers monologues convincing Michael Jordan into joining the company. One appreciates footage honoring Jordan’s legacy in styles recalling Netflix’s “The Last Dance”. Recalling Jordan’s basketball games in documentary, Affleck honors the player through footage. Historical footage is risky. Footage enhances biographies about founders of companies (ex. Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs”). As Bennet Miller’s “Moneyball” proved, footage elevates baseball movies. Nevertheless, it succeeds. Moreover, the soundtrack is superb. Evoking Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street”, it captures 1980’s Wall Street offices. Through set-design, Affleck celebrates teams that shine.

Another extraordinary “Air” aspect is the screenplay. Alex Convery’s screenwriting strength is capturing teams through phone-call conversations. In Hollywood, movies portray teams as groups with unbreakable bonds always overcoming adversities. Case-in-point: James Mangold’s “Ford v. Ferrari” captured teams designing cars that shine even when interests scarcely align. This contributes misconceptions about groupwork being a process that always guarantees success without stress. Fortunately, however, “Air” avoids sugarcoating groupwork. Convery demonstrates teamwork tensions Nike’s employees faced in chasing success for their organization. Evoking “Jerry Maguire”, Convery demonstrates salesmen emotions through phone-call conversations. Like Jerry Maguire’s desire to call athletes in dire situations, Sonny uses phone-calls to build empires. Viewers aren’t required to be Nike fans to relate with characters. As someone struggling with groupwork, I related with Sonny’s journey to fulfill dreams. Phone-call conversations scarcely make for engaging viewing. As Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” demonstrated, phone-calls evoking laughter at stockbrokers are disasters. Nevertheless, it succeeds. Through soul-stirring storytelling, Convery demonstrates collaboration. 

One appreciates astonishing performances. 

Matt Damon delivers a career-defining performance as Sonny Vaccaro. Damon achieved recognition in coming-of-age dramas (ex. Gus Van Sant’s “Good Will Hunting”). With “Air”, however, Damon portrays a manager. It’s challenging to portray a salesman that paved the way for the NBA. However, Damon succeeds. Evoking Michael Keaton in John Lee Hancock’s “The Founder”, Damon crafts a salesman striking business deals as delicious as happy meals that lead to his company’s appeal. With riveting expressions, he conveys frustrations, disillusionment and grief of an entrepreneur. It’s an extraordinary performance.

The supporting cast is spectacular, sharing electric chemistry. Ben Affleck is amazing, bringing authority acknowledgements to a CEO fully committed towards ensuring products created are accepted rather than rejected. Viola Davis is dazzling, capturing torment of a mother hopeful for her son’s future. Last, Chris Tucker merits acknowledgements. As a president, he’s hilarious. 

Despite strong performances, however, “Air’s” footwear isn’t as smooth as rare sneakers worn by athletes beyond compare. Affleck’s decisions to avoid showing Michael Jordan is understandable but doesn’t work. Jordan’s absence defeats the purpose of a movie seeking to honor his legacy. It prevents viewers from forming connection with the basketball player. As Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” proved, absences elevate movies about celebrities which have passed away. Moreover, the film suffers formulaic conclusions. It’s a conventional overcome-all-odds conclusion. Whereas this ending elevated Affleck’s “Argo”, it clashes with this movie’s purpose. Instead of honoring a real-life incident, it seems intended as an advertisement for the company created with poor judgement. Worst, it’s a narrow-minded marketing strategy intended to enhance Nike’s profitability. Consequently, not everyone would appreciate “Air’s” footwear.

Nevertheless, fans of Michael Jordan will certainly recognize “Air” and so will moviegoers seeking heartfelt entertainment. A slam-dunk achievement, it celebrates team collaboration that contributed to the formations of one of the world’s greatest organizations. During a stressful era when Nike faces heavy prices to pay rarely receiving acknowledgements, it’s a tender tribute to teamwork that paved way for shoes lay foundation for one of the institutionalizations without whom it’s safe to say NBA’s iconic icons enjoying their last dance may not exist accomplishing acknowledgments today.

An insightful glimpse into a billion-dollar business empire individuals around the world admire, it’s a rousing celebration of teams of agents as beloved as Jerry Maguire that saved companies from financial scenarios that are dire through abilities to inspire.

Like groupwork which guides Steve Jobs to overcome obstacles in Apple, it’s an inspirational tribute towards founders of companies that use teams doing jobs expertly to keep companies profitable even if their leadership styles are controversial.

If Cinema has the abilities to evoke empathy for teams during the modern era, hopefully watching founders of companies cooperate in groups to craft social network websites allows people trapped in troublesome teams to recover from trauma. 

As attractive as the Air Jordan shoes, it’s a rousing reminder of rare powers of teamwork which could allow me to recover years after groupwork nightmares by learning sheer fear of collaboration is worth end results securing profit of companies that design footwear.

4/5 stars

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s