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If I would have told myself a few months ago that seeing a film about the history of a shoe would be one of the best films I have watched in a while I would not have believed myself, but here we are. The new film from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon brings us the story of the creation of the insanely popular AIR Jordan NIKE shoes. In a world where we have such a hard devotion to the shoes people wear many may not give much thought to their origin stories, but that would definitely be a mistake. The story of the sneaker that changed the shoe industry forever is one that commands to be told and AIR delivers in every way.
Directed by Ben Affleck AIR brings us a truly inspiring story centered around Sonny Vaccaro who is played by Matt Damon. He is a shoe salesman/talent scout for NIKE, hoping to bring in the next big name to breathe life into NIKE's struggling Basketball shoe division. Before the arrival of the AIR Jordan sneaker, NIKE was pretty much only known for its running shoes. Basketball players at the time were rocking Converse and ADIDAS when on the court with NIKE only taking up a minimal share of the basketball market. When Sonny Vaccaro stepped into the scene and spotted a diamond in the rough - the young rookie Michael Jordan. Following his instincts, Sonny is sure that Michael is the player that could really bring NIKE's basketball shoes into the mainstream, but getting one of the most sought-after rookies will prove to be no easy feat. From dealing with Michael's tough-as-nails agent David Falk (Played by Chris Messina) to the, even more, business-savvy Deloris Jordan (Played by the incredible Viola Davis) Sonny will have his work cut out for him and that is just the tip of the iceberg as he also has to find a way to convince his own team that putting their entire year's working of marketing budget on just one man. Jason Bateman plays Rob Strasser who is NIKE's head of Marketing and Ben Affleck takes on the role of Phil Knight the head of NIKE and are the two in-house players Sonny will have to fight to convince this endeavor is more than just a gamble. The road isn't an easy one, but Sonny is a character that will have you believing in following your gut when it tells you something is right.
To say this story is inspiring is an understatement. This movie packs one hell of a punch into its almost two-hour run time and it will have you laughing and in some moments even getting a bit teary with some of the passionate dialog that comes from this talented cast. Not to mention just seeing how much this one talent acquisition helped change an entire industry. It is truly a film worth your time and I really do hope you get a chance to see this one on the big screen. I don't believe you will be disappointed and hey, who doesn't love walking out of a film with a renewed sense of positivity? AIR scores an easy A+ from us. This film brings passion and heart to the cinema and it deserves to be seen not just by sneakerheads but by anyone who has ever felt that little voice in their heart commanding them into one direction or another. Seeing people chasing their passion and even better, achieving the thing they worked so hard for is a story worth telling and one that should be heard. So in the words of NIKE - Just Do It.
AIR hits theaters everywhere on April 5, 2023.