Featured Photo Credit: Amazon Studios
Since 1984, only the flyest have rocked the iconic Air Jordan sneakers and the recognizable “jumpman” logo. The shoe is well known, but up until now the story behind the shoe was not.
Now the new movie Air, directed by Ben Affleck, unveils the legendary tale about the shoe and its unmatched popularity.
The film set with a 1984 backdrop opens as Nike’s basketball division is looking to partner with three athletes to promote their shoes. Unimpressed by the prospects, Sonny Vaccaro, played by Matt Damon, sees promise in a college kid from North Carolina, Michael Jordan. Vaccaro feels so strongly about Jordan that he bets his job on his choice and suggests using Nike’s entire budget to court Jordan. Guided by the “Nike Principles” and his own tenacity, Vaccaro tirelessly sets out to convince everyone from Nike Founder, Phil Knight (Ben Affleck) to Deloris Jordan (Viola Davis), Michael’s mother, about the possibilities and merits of a partnership.
The all-star cast consists of favorites such as Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Viola Davis, Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, and Chris Tucker, who tell this legendary story with such ease. From the actors’ body language, and facial expressions, to their suspenseful pauses, movie goers are hooked from the first scene and are mesmerized as this amazing story unfolds on screen.
Alex Convery’s screenplay melds the serious business scenes, like that of Damon and Viola as they brilliantly negotiate the historic Nike deal, with infusions of comedy and witty one liners spouted by cast members like Matthew Maher, who plays shoe designer Peter Moore.
While the film makes efforts to tell every detail of this amazing story, in contrast it makes a fascinating choice to never show Michael Jordan’s face. Jordan, played by Damian Delano Young, is always seen from the back, is cut off at the shoulders, or is munching on snack trays in the back. This creative choice gives a nod to the “jumpman” silhouette and allows the story to be about the behind the scenes players that really made the deal happen.
Air, a story of vision, guts and determination is exclusively in theaters beginning April 5.