May 5 – 7

May 5 –7

7 pm nightly
Rated 14A – 1 hr 52 min

Air bristles with the infectious energy of the man at its center: Sonny Vaccaro, who’s hustling to make the deal of a lifetime. Director Ben Affleck tells the story of how Nike nabbed Jordan by creating a shoe that wasn’t just for him but of him—the representation of his soon-to-be iconic persona in a form that made us feel as if we, too, could reach such heights.

In the mid-80s, a Nike executive called Sonny Vaccaro dreamed of signing up basketball star Michael Jordan to promote the revolutionary new Air Jordan sneaker. Converse and Adidas had more money to offer, so Vaccaro drove to Jordan’s family home in North Carolina on a risky mission to bypass Jordan’s lawyers, agent and management team and instead befriend Jordan’s formidable mother, Deloris.

It’s fascinating to see Nike portrayed as a scrappy underdog, watching Vaccaro work to pre-empt market leaders Adidas and Converse and deal with the vagaries of chasing high school and college athletes. And the reteaming of Affleck and Matt Damon is a joy. It’s a blast watching these long-time best friends, co-stars, and co-writers playing off each other again, provoking and cajoling, more than a quarter century after Good Will Hunting.

It’s almost ridiculous how entertaining Air is given that it’s about shoes, even if it works overtime to persuade you that it’s also about other, nobler truths, too. Written by Alex Convery, Air nicely hits the sweet spot between light comedy and lighter drama that’s tough to get right.

Ben Affleck

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker and Viola Davis.