"A Mother’s Love and Wisdom Makes All the Difference"


What You Need To Know:

AIR is a comical drama about how the shoe company, Nike, landed its game-changing account with basketball rookie and future superstar Michael Jordan in 1984. Nike’s basketball expert, Sonny Vaccaro, has seen clips of Michael playing in high school, college and the Olympics. He thinks Nike should build a shoe around Michael instead of seeking endorsements from several players. He faces opposition to his idea at Nike and with Michael’s agent. Michael himself really isn’t all that impressed with Nike’s line of running shoes. He prefers Converse shoes. However, Sonny learns that Michael’s wise mother, Deloris, makes all the family’s business decisions. So, he takes a risk and approaches her personally.

AIR tells a very entertaining, inspiring, funny, and touching story. AIR has a strong moral, pro-capitalist worldview that celebrates motherhood, family, free market capitalism, and the American Dream. However, it has many strong obscenities and three strong profanities. So, it’s not as family friendly as it could and should be. This will hurt the movie at the box office. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for the superbly directed, beautifully nicely acted AIR.


(BB, CapCapCap, PPP, C, Pa, FR, LLL, V, S, A, DD, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral, pro-capitalist worldview that also celebrates the American Dream, with some redemptive elements and a comically positive reference to finding Jesus, celebrates motherhood and family and earning a living and tells an inspiring story about a shoe company approaching a rookie basketball player to build a shoe around him and his image, but the company’s representative must go through the player’s strong, wise mother, who has the strong business mind of the family (she also loves her son and cares about his future and knows in her heart how much her son’s talent is worth), and the movie portrays the family and the parents in a positive light, marred by some strong immoral behavior such as lots of strong crude, foul language by the men at the shoe company, plus the company’s CEO is into Zen Buddhism and has a statue of Buddha in his office, but the man who runs the company’s new basketball division gently mocks the CEO’s Buddhist aphorisms repeatedly in a comical way

Foul Language:
About 95 obscenities (including about 49 “f” words and many “s” words), two Jesus profanities, one other strong profanity, and two light profanities

Light incidental violence such as basketball players jostling, media images of light violence from the time period such as one or two images of the A-Team television programs, a violent insult, and a text reference to a death by gunshot

No sex scenes, but a few lewd sexual insults or jokes (one insult is particularly crude and includes a strong obscenity word) and at least one newspaper reference to adultery and divorce, and a main character is divorced, but talks about how he misses his daughter when she goes spend time with her mother

No nudity

Alcohol Use:
Brief alcohol use

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Brief incidental smoking, and one song has some drug references in its lyrics, but the lyrics may be hard to hear for people, and people probably will tune them out; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Some miscellaneous immorality such as a main character has a gambling problem and is seen stopping off at Vegas to indulge his habit while he’s on the road for this company.

More Detail:

AIR is a comical drama about how the shoe company, Nike, landed its game-changing account with basketball rookie and future superstar Michael Jordan in 1984 by respecting his mother, who handles Michael’s career. Directed by Ben Affleck, who plays Nike’s CEO, AIR tells an inspiring, funny, touching, pro-capitalist story about a mother’s love for her son and her concern for his future, but the male workers at Nike say many “f” words and other strong obscenities, so extreme caution is advised.

As the movie opens, Nike’s top basketball expert, Sonny Vacarro, a former coach is frustrated about his position at the company. For example, Nike is losing a lot of contracts with professional basketball players to Converse. Sonny has seen clips of Michael Jordan playing and thinks he could be a really great, outstanding player in the NBA. However, Michael wears Converse shoes on the court and Adidas shoes off the court. Also, up to 1984, Nike shoes were mostly known as running shoes for joggers.

Another problem is that Nike only has $400,000 for Sonny to pay the basketball players endorsing Nike shoes. The top people of the company, including Founder and CEO Phil Knight, want to split the money among several top players, supposedly to get more bang for their buck. However, Sonny, who loves to gamble in Vegas, wants to let it all ride on Michael. Also, instead of putting Michael into a generic shoe, he wants to develop a personalized shoe for Michael.

Everyone is skeptical, of course, about Sonny’s plan. Also, Michael’s agent doesn’t want to rock the boat, especially since Michael loves the Converse brand. However, Converse treats all its basketball superstars equally. No one stands out, not even the great Wilt Chamberlain. In fact, Converse has a commercial where all its superstar endorsers appear together.

When Sonny hears that Michael’s mother, Deloris, is the one who handles all the family’s business decisions, he decides to travel to North Carolina and approach her himself. Even though Michael’s agent and everyone else strongly urges him not to bother her.

AIR is directed by Ben Affleck, who also plays Nike’s quirky CEO. So far, Affleck has directed two superbly entertaining movies, ARGO and THE TOWN, and he has another hit movie here. However, AIR has lots of strong foul language, including many strong obscenities and three strong profanities. So, Affleck’s new movie is ignoring the huge family audience that could make this movie about a mother’s love for her son a real blockbuster.

That said, AIR tells a very entertaining, inspiring, funny, touching story. AIR has a strong moral worldview that celebrates motherhood. Deloris Jordan loves her son, Michael, and cares deeply for his future. Also, she knows exactly how talented Michael truly is and how much his endorsement could mean for Nike. And, she was totally right!

AIR is also very pro-capitalist. It brilliantly shows how much free market capitalism brings people together for projects and products, including innovative ones, for mutually beneficial purposes. Free market capitalism not only makes individual people and families financially successful, it also creates jobs. Thus, AIR also celebrates the American Dream, including people who can take their God-given talents and find purpose and success.

These themes would provide great, enjoyable lessons for young people were it not for the foul language in AIR. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.

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