An enjoyable and inspirational film about the creation of the Air Jordon line.


Release Date: April 5, 2023
Runtime: 01:51
Follows the history of shoe salesman Sonny Vaccaro, and how he led Nike in its pursuit of the greatest athlete in the history of basketball, Michael Jordan.

The floundering Nike basketball decision hopes to recruit star prospect Michael Jordon for a new line of shoes in . In 1984, Sonny Vaccaro () is a talent scout for the endangered basketball division of Nike, headed by Howard White (), which also includes Marketing VP Rob Strasser (). The division was only given of budget of $250,000 by CEO Phil Knight (), which heavily limits the NBA prospects that Sonny can recruit. Seeing something special in third-draft pick Michael Jordon, Sonny pitches that the division devotes its entire budget to creating a shoe catered specifically for Jordon, despite the player's intentions to sign with either Adidas or Converse. Going behind the back of agent David Falk (), Sonny travels to North Carolina to pitch directly to Jordon's mother and manager, Deloris ().

Air Synopsis

Air is a biopic directed by and co-starring Ben Affleck (Argo), based on the efforts of Nike to recruit Michael Jordon and create what will become the highly successful Air Jordon line of basketball shoes. The focus is primarily on the members of Nike's basketball division, which is on the verge of being shut down due to Nike's reputation for being a brand more known for running shoes. In contrast, Michael Jordon is depicted in the film by actor Damian Young, who is predominantly a figure in the background, shown from the back during the various pitch meetings he and his family attend. Sonny Vaccaro and Rob Strasser were given a weekend to create their pitch and prototype for the shoe they made for Michael Jordon.

My Thoughts on Air

It is probably not too hyperbolic to say that Air is perhaps the best biopic that someone will see that is entirely about a shoe. The Air Jordon line not only single-handily saved Nike's basketball division but also revolutionized the relationship between a player and a brand, with Michael Jordon still receiving a share of the proceeds of Air Jordans. Despite knowing how the story turns out, Air is still successful at building suspense about whether or not Michael Jordon will end up signing with Nike.

Airβ€˜s success is primarily thanks to the ensemble cast led by director Ben Affleck's longtime best friend Matt Damon as Nike talent scout Sonny Vaccaro. In addition to the leads of Damon, Affleck, and Jason Bateman, Air features a brief but memorable performance by Chris Tucker as Howard White, who would become the vice president of Air Jordon. The film is Tucker's first film role since Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk in 2016, and most of the part was reportedly improvised. Viola Davis also stands out as Michael Jordon's mother, Deloris, who ends up being quite instrumental in her son's decision to sign with Nike.

Ultimately, Air is an enjoyable and inspirational film about the birth of the Air Jordon shoe line.

Trailer for Air

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.