Don’t believe the hype surrounding Affleck’s “Air”

The film about Air Jordan shoes is decidedly bland and uneventful decide a massive budget and impressive cast of Oscar-winners


Courtesy Amazon Studios

Oscar winners Matt Damon and Viola Davis co-star in “Air,” directed by another Oscar winner, Ben Affleck.

Is “Air” really all it’s hyped up to be?

After a short theatrical run in April, Amazon Studio’s “Air” was released last week on Amazon Prime Video for streaming.

Air” the story of the shoe company Nike’s part in the creation of the Air Jordan basketball shoe. It tells the story of Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon), a sports marketing executive with a dream to sign Michael Jordan to Nike. The problem, though, is that Nike isn’t the shoe company it will one day become, and Sonny runs up against a world of problems in his quest for greatness.

And for as exciting as this sounds, “Air” is a questionably mid movie.  

The Air Jordan shoe was made by Nike in the 80s in collaboration with Jordan, who most thought at the time was destined to be a great NBA player, but not necessarily the “GOAT” he would become.

While critics are raving about this movie and calling it amazing, personally I do not see it. I find “Air” unexpectedly bland considering the high expectations from all those reviews. A keyword tons of critics used was “fun.” 

It had none of that. 

While “Air” has little to no actual basketball in it, it expects you to know what all these characters are talking about beforehand. For a basketball movie, it’s just more white people talking in rooms about basketball.

Also, since I did not grow up in the ’80s, this movie feels like the very few ’80s movies I have seen. It seems ripped out of time, packed with a cast from the 20th century, yet made in the wrong era.  

While the film has some strong moments, director Ben Affleck’s style did not seem to fit the story he’s telling. The biggest issue is that he doesn’t do very much with his supporting cast.

It’s surprising how nothing really pops out with this strong supporting cast.  There are also multiple Oscar winners in this film such as Matt Damon and Viola Davis, neither of whom bring their best work. Viola always brings her best, but with this script, she is under-utilized. 

The film also looks very low budget despite costing an estimated $70-90 million. Clearly, the budget went to the talent, because the rest of the movie looks like it cost a few hundred dollars.  

A story about Michael Jordan’s perspective and the stress he was under  as he prepared for the life of a highly coveted professional athlete hinted at throughout the movie would have been better.

In all fairness, I did not watch this movie in a single sitting. I admit that maybe this affected my experience with “Air.” However, the multiple sittings is more evidence that the movie didn’t intrigue me enough to keep me watching.


Production: An Amazon Studios and Warner Bros. release in association with Artists Equity, Mandalay Pictures, and Skydance Media

Producers: David Ellison, Jesse Sisgold, Jon Weinbach, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Madison Ainley, Jeff Robinov, Peter Guber, and Jason Michael Berman; Executive producers: Dana Goldberg, John Graham, Don Granger, Kevin Halloran, Michael Joe, Jordan Moldo, Jesse Sisgold, Peter E. Strauss, Drew Vinton

Crew: Ben Affleck (Director), Alex Convery (Screenwriter), Robert Richardson (Cinematography), William Goldenberg (Editor). Andrea von Foerster (Composer)

Cast: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Matthew Maher, Marlon Wayans, Chris Tucker, Viola Davis, Gustaf Skarsgård, Julius Tennon