I have loved duo of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck since their Good Will Hunting days. Them acting separately is somehow not as great as whenever they come together and make movies. While their movies are not exactly cerebral nor brain scratcher, their movies tends to make me think days after watching the movies and discuss the theme. Some of my favourites are Good Will Hunting, Dogma and Last Duel. I simply love the way their dynamic works to tell the stories. I have to be hones that the story of Nike is equally interesting for me, bootstrapping into the most favorite shoes in the world, what’s not to like about the story, right. So when Air started playing in theater, it is a no brainer that watching Air is a must.
The story focuses on Sonny Vaccaro who is the talent scout (Matt Damon), Phil Knight the Nike CEO (Ben Affleck) and Bob Strasser who is the Marketing VP (Jason Bateman) effort to come up with a new spokes person for its basketball shoes. Originally the Nike team thought Michael Jordan – who loves Adidas deeply and a Converse Brand Ambassador – off limit. However when Sonny watched Arthur Ashe commercial on Head rackets and see how a product line can be build around a brand ambassador and it works, Sonny is contemplating the same formula for Nike. Sonny has to go through convicing a lot of executive internally and then go on to convince David Falk who is Michael Jordan agent (Chris Messina) to get through. Bumps along the way result in Sonny approaching directly Michael Jordan parent which is a no no as business practice but yet he met Deloris Jordan, Michael Jordan charismatic mother (Viola Davis) whom Sonny needed to convince and charm. Nike which is still relatively scrappy compare to both Adidas and Converse, have to compete innovatively not only through its financials but also through its product. Collaborating with Peter Moore, Nike shoes designer, create a prototype unusual and ground breaking called Air Jordan. It is unusual and ground breaking because it breaks NBA rules of 51% has to be in white otherwise there will be penalty (in this case Nike committed to pay the penalty). Sonny also have to deal with unusual demand from Deloris Jordan on a cut from all the sold shoes under Michael Jordan name. At the end, this basketball shoes follow running shoes that goes into mainstream, worn by everyone everyday and resulting more than 3 Million US$ (162 Million US$).
Matt Damon can still pull of a great underdog acting even at his age, I have to really admit his acting forte. Ben Affleck acting somehow always shine whenever he is paired with Matt Damon, his acting as quirky Phil Knight is definitely add the strength of the movie. Then we have Jason Bateman and Viola Davis as well as Chris Messina to power the already very strong movie script, it is pure pleasure to watch. The choice to not feature Michael Jordan as one of the strength of the movie, it is a unique decision but it allows the other characters to shine which otherwise will be shadow with Michael Jordan’s and indeed who would the star be to carry Michael Jordan successfully.
Property and costumer properly 80s realistically bringing the sense of 80 excitement, as well as language and backstory. OST that is appropriately 80s and upbeat, punctuating 80s excitement of growth and lifestyle.
Overall it is definitely well received movies with 92% rotten tomatoes and 7.7/10 IMDb rating. It is one of the classic movie that is a must see and then become mainstay of dinner conversation for many days. It is one of the great choice if you and your team at work want to do something light together but still you are not missing out on learning and strengthening collaboration as well innovative thinking. It is one of those movies coming out from watching you will walk taller and sit straighter to become more courageous and creative at work the next day.
Verdict : An absolute must see !