The general public knows Ben Affleck as Batman in Zack Snyder’s DC cinematic universe. In particularly severe cases – like the failed Daredevil from the 2003 film. Only Affleck is also an outstanding director and screenwriter. He showed this to everyone back in 2012 with his film “Argo”. In his new film, Air, he entered the territory of sports dramas combined with stories about corporate intrigue. We tell you in the review below how the project turned out in the end.
Pros: development of all characters at the highest level; the nuances of corporate and business culture are perfectly conveyed; a competent combination of idealistic aspirations and pragmatism of corporations; Outstanding chemistry between Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Cons: Some plot complexity; the film is too dependent on the cultural characteristics of Americans in the 80s, which may not be clear to Ukrainian viewers
Director Ben Affleck
Starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina
Release year 2023
1984 Nike is looking for ways to strengthen its position in the sports footwear market. One of Nike’s representatives, Sonny Vacaro (Matt Damon), sees potential in young basketball player Michael Jordan. And even though everyone is skeptical about the idea, Vacaro is confident that it is the contract with Jordan and the new series of shoes dedicated to him that will take the global sneaker culture to a new level. Just to begin with, he will have to overcome many nuances of the life of large corporations and advertising relationships in sports.
Air is not an easy film to watch – and for several reasons. One of the main ones is that the plot relies heavily on numerous marketing and business terminology. In this way, “Air” is similar to the “Bell Game,” where everything was also based on the activities of stock brokers. Only in Affleck’s film there is no Margot Robbie in the bath, who clearly explains all the incomprehensible nuances.
Instead, Air offers extremely textured and rich characters. Even within the framework of a strict corporate culture, they manage to attract people with their charisma and reveal unexpected sides. The entire film is built on dialogues, so developing the characters is one of the main keys to success. And she’s in complete order at Eira.
It’s very nice to watch the duet of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Real life best friends have a great understanding of how to recreate real chemistry on screen. Therefore, watching their interactions is a real pleasure.
The film rivets you to the screen and sometimes makes you feel sincere awe even in those moments when supposedly nothing special is happening. The local intrigue and somewhat idealistic attempts to make the world a better place are fascinating. After all, even sneakers can influence public consciousness.
“Air” is a kind of declaration of love to all the people who have made a huge layer of culture out of shoes. After all, today the race for new models of sneakers has turned into a furious hobby, and the difference between colors and lace lengths can cause heated debate. Affleck and screenwriter Alex Convy were able to perfectly convey the origins of such trends.
The film turned out to be extremely American. It draws heavily on the cultural characteristics of the United States. Pragmatism here is combined with an almost infantile belief that somewhere inside dull offices and soulless corporations, real miracles are happening. Air does a great job of showing that these miracles are possible.
Michael Jordan himself, because of whom the plot essentially began, is practically not shown in the film. He doesn’t have a single line of dialogue, and he himself resembles more of a shadow, a fleeting silhouette. And this also has its own powerful script idea.
Air doesn’t focus on the big star, but on the people who work from the shadows. They decide the future of companies and entire generations with a couple of phrases. Sometimes their decisions are not very well thought out and are almost chaotic. But it is from such chaos that true beauty is born.
Apparently, Affleck wants to compete for an Oscar again, so he made an uncompromising and complex movie, to fully understand which you need to understand sports, business, marketing and American culture of the 80s. There are so many layers to Air, and it’s a real pleasure for fans to dig through them.
But even if you don’t know anything about the above, Air will still give you pleasure. Precisely due to the idealistic, ephemeral and almost elusive feeling of the world shifting for the better. To evoke such emotions with a movie about sneakers is a huge achievement. And it’s likely that after watching, you’ll finally buy your first pair of Air Jordans.
“Air” is an excellent and not boring movie, although its description and structure may lead one to think otherwise. It turns a dull premise into a triumph of human genius. And it’s nice to watch such an extravaganza for all 112 minutes of running time