In THE AIR UP THERE, Jimmy Dolan (Kevin Bacon) wants the head coaching position at his alma mater, St. Joseph’s University, where, while playing point guard, he once hit the winning basket in a college national championship game. Once the heir-apparent to the head coaching job, Dolan is now relegated to scouting small-time high school b-games. That is, until he sees a film at the alumni banquet documenting the progress of St. Joseph’s missionary to the Winabi tribe in Africa and notes, in the out-of-focus background of the missionary’s film, a very tall, very agile young African male slam-dunking a basketball in Air-Jordan fashion over the outstretched arms of helpless defenders. Dolan sees his chance to land a big recruit and the head coaching job so, at his own expense, he heads for Africa.
THE AIR UP THERE is a fun, positive, enjoyable film with great acting by all involved and excellent cinematography. The directing is well done and the soundtrack is up-beat. The only down note being, once again, a relative amount of offensive language. Featuring no sex or nudity, there is even a fun, albeit somewhat predictable, surprise near the film’s climax. Without the offensive language the film could be highly recommended for all ages.
(B, C, LL, V, A, M, NA) Biblical worldview stressing the moral principles of truth, friendship, forgiveness, ethics, and importance of family; positive portrait of Christianity; 15 obscenities, 4 profanities & a few vulgarities; violent scene as African village burns, mild violence in on-court basketball action; main character occasionally drinks beer; two groups bet on basketball game; and, African tribal ceremony.