Art & Entertainment

‘Air’ On Amazon Prime Video Movie Review: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon Squander A Great Opportunity To Make The Most Thrilling Sports Drama Ever

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker and Viola Davis starrer ‘Air’ has finally released on Amazon Prime Video. Is the movie worth your time? Or can you simply skip it? Read the full movie review to find out.

'Air'
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‘Air’: Cast & Crew

Director: Ben Affleck

Cast: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, Viola Davis

Available On: Amazon Prime Video

Duration: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

‘Air’: Story

‘Air’ 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. Will Sonny Vaccaro be able to get Michael Jordan not to sign on to his favourite Adidas or Converse and come to sign a deal with Nike? Will Nike be able to offer something to Michael Jordan that no other shoe company had ever been able to offer? Will Sonny Vaccaro’s move change the way Basketball players earn money from partnership deals? Well, to know all that, you’ll have to watch the movie.

‘Air’: Performances

Matt Damon transformed himself completely for this role, and it shows onscreen. From being the svelte and suave good-looking dude, he changed himself to being this middle-aged, grey-haired, pot-bellied man who couldn’t even run for 2 minutes on the jogging track. He looks the part to the T. With the perfect look achieved, Matt Damon made sure that the performance felt real and genuine. His speech in the climax of the movie is surely going to be something the generations of acting students are going to watch and rewatch and try to copy it, give auditions on it and use it in day-to-day lingo. With his innuendos and snarky sarcastic comments, Matt Damon makes the entire film come full circle.

Ben Affleck managed to do what Tom Cruise did in ‘Tropic Thunder’. He may have minimal screen time, but the quirky character of the CEO of Nike that he kept for himself makes you want to keep watching his story over and over again. He is funny with a straight face and the dumbfounded look that he manages to get every time he is on screen is simply perfect.

Jason Bateman has a short and sweet character. He does decent even though there’s nothing out of the ordinary that he is doing. The character is completely in his comfort zone and he does the best in that. The character arc isn’t anything different from what he might have played in numerous of his other films.

Chris Tucker definitely showcases why he is a mad genius. He has a blink-and-a-miss performance, but even in that, he manages to hook you on. His expressions are hilarious, his reactions to other’s dialogues are even better and to top it all, his high-pitched baritone cracks you up every time he pulls off any of his antics.

The biggest disappointment in the acting department is Viola Davis for sure. While the film should have been about Nike trying to convince Michael Jordan’s mother, the character of the mother didn’t have enough screen time. Therefore, a performer as brilliant as Viola Davis is left with a part that’s not too worthy of her stature. It’s understandable that Michael Jordan himself requested for the mother’s character to be played by Viola Davis, but the makers should have made the character worthy of her talent. It seems that the mother’s character could have had so much more depth to it, and Davis was just on the cusp of it. A total waste of talent.

‘Air’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Alex Convery’s writing is the weakest part of ‘Air’. It was supposed to be a thriller where 3 of the biggest shoemakers in the US battle it out – good, bad, ugly – to get the best rookie basketball player in NBA history. Sadly, Convery’s writing didn’t have the necessary thrill that such a story required. It just ended up being a plain Jane biopic with no thrill as such. It had the potential of being like Ben Affleck’s Oscar-winning film ‘Argo’. The entire rivalry between the 3 shoe brands could have been hyped up to a point where, getting Michael Jordon to sign up for them, would have been the great prize and that would have been a fitting climax. Sadly, the writing was just too unadorned with any sort of thrills and chills.

Ben Affleck did try to salvage the hara-kiri of a story with his adept direction. He managed to get the characters have a graph so that the story drew you in. Also, a great move by not showing Michael Jordan’s character throughout the movie, which actually took the focus away from him and put the onus of the story on the other characters. However, being the captain of the ship here and having past experience of making ‘Argo’, he could have easily steered this film to become the most thrilling sports drama ever made. Sadly, he squandered that opportunity.

Robert Richardson’s cinematography is praiseworthy. He manages to shoot the entirety of the film without actually showing shots of the big cities. His vision keeps the story rooted to its basics, and also enables the audiences to see the story that led to the making of the most popular shoe in the history of humankind.

William Goldenberg’s editing is crisp and he manages to keep the story in under 2 hours, which is brilliant. However, ‘Air’ feels like a part of a bigger story, and it feels like it got chopped down at the point where you actually reached the greater story.

‘Air’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes

Outlook’s Verdict

‘Air’ had the potential to be a great thrilling sports drama, which sadly ended up being a plain Jane biopic. Even though it has its soft spots, the actors deliver performances that will compel you to sit through it. It’s just about an Average Watch. I am going with 2.5 stars.

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