Air is Great, Even if it’s Not an Air Bud Sequel Like I Thought

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 18: Ben Affleck (L) and Matt Damon attend the world premiere of "Air" at the Paramount Theatre during the 2023 SXSW Conference And Festival on March 18, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/WireImage)

I saw the movie Air this weekend. I walked into a packed theater with a few of my friends who may or may not have smelled like we lost a fight with a skunk in the parking lot and asked the group of high schoolers in our seats if they could move. We were a little late and didn’t see a single trailer, but we reclined our seats and prepared to learn the history of how rich guys got their money. 

This movie was really good. It’s a fun sports movie that has focuses on the business side of one of the best athletes of all time. This movie is somewhat of a hybrid between Moneyball and Ford vs. Ferrari but with no actual sports scenes. It’s carried by the fun performances of actors who all were popular when Michael Jordan was winning championships. Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker, and the Good Will Hunting duo give a 90’s feel to this movie that no one else could. There’s also some awkward, chubby, white guy who they keep in the basement at Nike just to create shoes who’s so oddly lovable. The guy seems like this role may have broken a typecast that he had previously been stuck in as a pedophile, and he really had fun with the role. And on top of all that Viola Davis was as great as she always is as Michael Jordan’s mother. 

This movie was really solid in every area. It was funny, interesting, well-paced, and showed Matt Damon with a beer belly that would impress Homer Simpson. There is one issue that truly bothered me though. The entire movie they don’t show Michael Jordan’s face. Like, not for a single frame. There are several scenes that MJ is obviously a key part of, such as the negotiation of his sneaker deal. The actor who plays Michael Jordan in this movie is never seen, but instead is merely a figure who takes up space. I get putting the focus on his mom in terms of the story, but literally hiding him from the audience by having him hide behind other actors was really distracting. Could you imagine a movie about The Beatles’ business manager that just kind of acted like John Lennon wasn’t a big part of the story. That’s what it felt like.

Despite the mind-boggling exclusion of the man who the story is centered around, Air was a fun watch. I will say they probably could’ve picked a better name for this movie, so many people like myself weren’t expecting this to be the next submission to the Air Buds franchise. 

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Written by TFM

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