A Review of “Air”, a Film Worthy of Review

In ‘Air: I Dunno, the Subtitle Keeps Changing’, we’re treated to a fast talking, insider basketball take on a story we maybe didn’t know we wanted to hear. And it’s fantastic.

Straight out the gate, Air does a great job at catching those 80’s vibes I was too young to remember and too old to forget.

So then, what’s the story?

Prepare for a few spoilers. But I don’t much mind spoiling this for you when the story is going on 50 years old and Ben Affleck and Good Will Hunting tell it a little nicer.

Well, there’s this guy that makes running shoes. They’re popular running shoes, popular enough that they bought him a purple 911 with 17 coats of paint.

There’s this other guy that loves basketball, among other things. This other guy, he works for the running shoes guy. He’s supposed to help him sell basketball shoes so he can afford more layers of paint.

And he knows basketball well enough that he saw Michael Jordan coming. It’s a little bit beautiful really. It speaks to what HoopSong is about, in fact. Matt Damon sees the game.

There’s a scene where Damon takes apart Jordan’s 1982 game winning shot against Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas. The Hoyas are playing a 1-3-1 Zone, leaving some perimeter space. The Tar Heel’s star player James Worthy is occupied. The ball goes to Jordan who sinks a calm and relaxed jumper.

But the way Damon (as Sonny Vaccaro) sees it, the play was drawn up for Jordan. Dean Smith, the Tar Heel’s coach, drew up the play for the ice cold freshman to take a game winning make-or-break shot in the NCAA finals.

And so he’s on a mission. Sonny Vaccaro (as Matt Damon) wants to sign an unproven NBA rookie to a lucrative contract to represent a company that makes running shoes. He’s working against the judgment of Nike CEO Phil Knight. He’s apparently working against the judgement of everyone at Nike. But he’s got to get that contract.

And the rest is history and such, once Jason Bateman is on board, and the dude with the goofy voice that puts together an inspired design and they finally win over Viola Davis, and there you go

Ultimately, this is a story about a dude, and a really a group of dudes, and Viola too, who are really good at their jobs.

But isn’t that sports really, folks who do a job well and good? And oddly, that’s a little bit of what the world needs right now. As we stare down a world where the nature of human work is being reworked before our eyes, it’s fascinating to watch someone carry out the type of intricate business heist that most would be hard-pressed to imagine a machine could ever conceive of, let alone carry out.

“A shoe is just a shoe, until someone steps into it.”

Anyway, go watch it. It’s free with Amazon Prime right now. You gotta know someone with a Prime account you can borrow at this point.