Rotten Tomatoes (2.5/5), Letterboxd (2.5/5), Imdb.com (5/10)
I’ll put this in the simplest terms possible – despite efforts to dress this film up into something more substantial than it really is, at bottom, this is little more than a two-hour commercial for Nike. I’m truly puzzled how a film about sporting gear marketing could have ever gotten off the runway, even if it is a story tied to NBA legend Michael Jordan. Unless one has a diehard fascination with the intricacies of this particular line of business and/or an intimately detailed examination of the ancillary revenue streams of basketball stars, I see little purpose for this picture’s existence. Director Ben Affleck’s latest is a major snooze fest in the first hour (my viewing companion was asleep after 10 minutes), improving somewhat in the second half (but that depends a great deal on whether one still cares by that point and/or has somehow managed to stay awake). Moreover, the claims that this is Matt Damon’s best shot at lead actor accolades are grossly overstated (much as they were with “Stillwater” (2021)), as he turns in what amounts to yet another typically adequate (but far from sensational) Matt Damon performance. In the picture’s favor, it admittedly features a generally fine supporting cast, especially Viola Davis, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker and Matthew Maher, but their performances and a few catchy one-liners here and there are far from enough to save this offering from its pervasive shortcomings. Affleck has certainly done better work as a director (and actor) than he has done here, so catch one of those other releases instead. And, if you’re really that interested in this slog (hard as that might be to imagine), wait until it becomes available for streaming; I’m sure it will be there soon enough.