New film “Air” addresses real life issues

Shoes. We don’t think about them too much, probably only the little price tag located on the side of the box. But then again, I can’t speak for everyone. Though one thing is for sure; we never pick up a pair of shoes and wonder who inspired it and how hard people worked to make it. Yet, maybe that can all change.

Air, a 2023 film directed by Ben Affleck, tells the story behind the Air Jordan shoe. The story begins by introducing Nike, a shoe company with a failing basketball division that ranks third out of three, right behind Adidas and Converse. Enter Sonny (Matt Damon), a basketball guru who is able to pick out a future star from the endless sea of potential. The only problem: Sonny has his eyes set on a young Michael Jordan, who seems unwilling to sign with Nike under any circumstances. On top of that, Sonny’s boss Phil (Ben Affleck), does not want to spend all of the company’s money on one long shot player.

But Sonny will not give up. Through many promises, a little deceiving, and going as far as visiting Jordan’s father and mother (Viola Davis and Julius Tennon) in North Carolina, Sonny stops at nothing to make sure that the company’s name claws its way to the top of the chain.

One major issue established by the film is the idea of college athletes being unpaid despite their many efforts. In Air, Jordan’s mother makes the clear point that the only condition she would have her son sign to is that of getting a percentage of the profits made by the shoe. Sonny hesitates to this condition, as he does not believe the company will allow him to even consider making such an offer. Portraying a real life concern, the movie clearly criticizes how companies are able to sign with these athletes for a large but limited amount of money and, even if the profits may outweigh that sum, the athletes are not compensated for the portion of the profits that they so rightfully deserve. 

I would give this movie an 8.5/10 rating overall. The set design was excellent, perfectly mimicking what you would see in 1984 Oregon, including older push dial phones, cadillacs, and the busy office workspace. The soundtrack featured some great classic hits, such as “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper and “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen. The story plot was fairly easy to follow and the input of jokes had great timing without being too excessive. All this considered, if you don’t have the patience and headspace to sit through two hours of conversations and speeches, you might want to schedule for another night. Either way, even if you’re not a big fan of sports, this movie may very well be up your alley, engaging the audience in every possible way. This story will definitely ‘make you want to fly,’ but I’ll just let it speak for itself.