Three “letters” that defy categorization; one of the classical elements, essential for life; watching another pairing of two men destined to reign in the hierarchy of nascent filmmakers, pungently aware that “Air” is more than a component for living, it represents a man eluding nature’s laws, flying within the boundaries of a basketball court, securing an everlasting legacy of supremacy, domination of a sphere unoccupied by another human being; Michael J. Jordan (b. 1963) is the iconic owner of “Air”.
Ben Affleck (Phil Knight) and Matt Damen (Sonny Vaccaro) friends and marvelous movie moguls capture splendidly, the pursuit of Michael Jordan to represent the Nike logo; it was a battle presciently fought by Vaccaro (sports marketing executive) in tandem with Knight (CEO of Nike); fearless vision slays magnificent obstacles: Michael (in 1984, barely 21 years old) pursued by Converse, and Adidas (his favorite), persuaded by his parents, James (Julius Tennon) and especially Deloris (another preeminent performance by Viola Davis) to accept the history defining, deal of a lifetime, “a shoe is just a shoe, until, my son steps into it.”
Directed by Ben Affleck, also starring Jason Bateman as Rob Strasser, Nike’s director of marketing (left Nike for Adidas in 1987); Chris Massina is a showstopper in the role of David Falk, a sport agent, whose gutsy, foulmouthed portrait of an opportunist, a chameleon, adjusting to circumstances once “the die is cast”, is superb.
Never has this critic been more invested in a film: through the years, experiencing Michael Jordan’s stratospheric rise with the Chicago Bulls, unmatched championships, conversations with Deloris Jordan, who, with absolute conviction stated that “education” was her primary goal with her children and her pride when Michael attained his college degree.
“Air” is uplifting, a metaphor for following one’s instincts, regardless of monumental vicissitudes; “Air Jordan” more than footwear, is an actualization of one man’s dream and another’s fulfilling it.