Prime Video movie of the day: Air is a love letter to the lost dream of good ideas

Poster for Air
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

You can sum up the satisfaction of the movie Air simply: what if you had an amazing idea at work and someone actually listened to you. These days, very few corporate structures actually allow for any kind of agility and flexibility to explore new ideas, but in the 'good old days', that was a possibility – at least, in the world of movies like Air and Flamin' Hot. Air isn't interesting because it tells the story of Nike's Air Jordan shoes – it's interesting because it's a power fantasy of being the guy whose great idea changes everything. It's well worth a watch on Prime Video for all those frustrated workers to get some catharsis.

AIR - Official Trailer - Warner Bros. UK & Ireland - YouTube AIR - Official Trailer - Warner Bros. UK & Ireland - YouTube
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We follow Sonny Vaccaro, played by Matt Damon, who needs to turn around Nike's ailing basketball shoe business. His budget for player endorsements is a fraction the size of Adidas', and they won't even let him spend it the way he wants. But he hatches a plan: what if we changed our whole approach to finances and product development in order to get the biggest name in the world on board.

So they pursue Michael Jordan, and promise him things that no one else will, because things just aren't done that way… yet. They'll even break the rules of what basketball shoes are allowed to look like according to the sport regulations, and simply pay the fines, to have the coolest shoe on the market. This shoe will be an act of rebellion in its mere existence.

The movie isn't just interesting because you get to live vicariously through the victories earned by Vaccaro and other members of the Nike team (especially Matthew Maher as designer Peter Moore), it's also an interesting look at why this ubiquitous shoe became a modern design icon. Obviously, I take the movie's story with a pinch of salt, but knowing elements around how Air Jordans broke the mold, and how Jordan himself was especially incentivized to push and support the shoe, it feels like something of a Rosetta stone for understanding how they became so huge.

Crucially, everyone is good in the movie. Damon is infinitely affable as always; Jason Bateman kills it as a desperate marketing vice-president terrified about the chance of failure, acting like a shoe-loving Gil from The Simpsons; and Ben Affleck is great as the kind of CEO where you don't know if he's going to back you to the hilt, or fire you on the spot – but it'll be one of them. Affleck also directs the movie, and gives it just the right kind of pace – it never outstays it's welcome, but it's also a pretty chill movie that you can zone out from at moments without feeling like you're lost.

It's arguably among the best Prime Video movies when it comes to just an easy and satisfying watch – it's not high art, but neither was the Nike Air Jordan, and that made a lot of people happy too.

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Matt Bolton
Managing Editor, Entertainment

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, meaning he's in charge of persuading our team of writers and reviewers to watch the latest TV shows and movies on gorgeous TVs and listen to fantastic speakers and headphones. It's a tough task, as you can imagine. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at, and before that he edited T3 magazine. During his career, he's also contributed to places as varied as Creative Bloq, PC Gamer, PetsRadar, MacLife, and Edge. TV and movie nerdism is his speciality, and he goes to the cinema three times a week. He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule.