Film Review – Air (2023)

films, reviews

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

There’s something to be said about the power of certain actors. One of the only reasons that I wanted to watch this film was because of Viola Davis. She’s such a powerhouse of an actor and could make anything seem great. I guess I also love Jason Bateman but he’s hardly as consistent with his film choices. And Ben Affleck? He’s been doing good things lately but I wasn’t sure that he would be able to make this concept work in the same way he made Argo work. After all, there’s something tricky about an underdog story about one of the biggest brands in the world. How can you make audiences sympathetic towards a billion-dollar company like Nike? It feels like the kind of story that someone like Adam McKay could have done fun things with but Nke would never have risked that.

I guess it’s a fairly big story. The Michael Jordan deal for Air Jordans changed the world of sports marketing and created one of the most iconic lines of trainers ever. Is it a film-worthy story? Who knows, but it did give Ben Affleck the chance to don a ridiculous curly wig and shell suit. There’s also a lot of chat about Matt Damon being fat which seems weird and unnecessary. Damon plays Sonny Vaccaro who masterminded the Nike/Michael Jordan deal. It’s the kind of classic story that we’ve seen time and time again. Sonny is the only one who has faith in his idea and he has to risk his career to make it happen. He should be the lovable everyman that audiences can get on board with but there’s no real suspense when we know how it goes. Sonny has to convince everyone but the audience. We know that he was the only person speaking sense. Meaning all of the stressed meetings between the marketing executives just don’t work the way they should.

Maybe if we learnt more about Sonny and his team? They just become the standard Hollywood cliches. You never really get to know them except that they were involved. All of the actors do well in this film but they’re all underused. You get the idea that most of them are just coasting. Matt Damon’s heart isn’t really in this but he seems to perk up during his scenes with Affleck. Especially Viola Davis who was left with little to do. She’s the greatest presence in this film and overshadows every other cast member, It’s still not enough.

It was Michael Jordan’s wishes, his mother’s role was increased for the final film. Deloris is the most interesting character here but we barely see her. It’s disappointing as she has so much to offer. It wouldn’t have been too bad if Jordan himself was a significant presence. Instead, Affleck strains himself to try and keep the main man hidden. It often leads to hilarious moments where the director avoids showing the face of the actor playing young Michael. I assume it was because they figured he was too familiar but it’s such a dumb decision.

This is a film full of dumb decisions. It’s quite generic in places and is willing to do the least work possible. This isn’t the best work of anyone involved. If you take this for what it is, a very expensive advert for the company, then this does a pretty good job. For a film, it’s fairly shallow.

5 thoughts on “Film Review – Air (2023)

    1. Yeah, I don’t see why it’s getting such positive feedback when it’s just Nike PR. I know sports marketing changed because of this deal but it barely even discusses the implications.

      Liked by 1 person

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