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Review: Air - Courting A Legend
Some Icons Are Meant To Fly
Discover the game changing partnership between a-then undiscovered Michael Jordan and Nike’s fledgling basketball division - which revolutionized the world of sports and culture with the Air Jordan brand.
I remember seeing the trailer for Air: Courting A Legend right before its South By Southwest premiere and my initial response was, “Looks good, nothing special, but should be enjoyable.” Then the praise started to come out from Austin, and right in the middle of Oscars week some were calling this the first true awards contender of the year. Consider me much more intrigued than I was with my initial reaction.
Directed by Ben Affleck himself with an ensemble that includes he, Matt Damon, Viola Davis, Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker, Julius Tennon, Chris Messina, Matthew Mayer, and Marlon Wayans among others, this movie is so much better than it should be on paper.
You’d think a movie based on Nike making a financial deal with a young player to be the face of a line of shoes would seem ludicrous as a feature length presentation. But thanks to Affleck’s direction, some incredibly effective editing that is among the best of the early part of the year, a soundtrack that is perfectly weaved into each story beat in a way that doesn’t distract, and writing that is so crisp and witty that almost every line got a reaction from the general audience that attended our advanced screening.
Many have said this is a “Dad movie”, and it certainly is, but honestly this is just a pure crowd-pleaser to watch with a group of people. This is the sort of film the hardcore cinephiles that dominate certain online spaces will dismiss as just fine, but the regular movie go-er will eat up. And they should eat well, I never got bored of the film and found myself reacting to almost every moment that the script clearly anticipated a reaction to. And while it does run almost two hours long, I never once felt like it was overstaying its welcome. And most importantly, even with us knowing the end result going into the movie, we still find ourselves rooting hard for the gamble these guys are taking to work out.
This is one of the more re-watchable true life event films, and if it has the legs and passion I think you’ll see it make a splash come awards season. This is without a doubt our early best comfort film of the year, and may just be my new favorite of the year so far. A solid A- for this slam dunk of a film that.