Harmless feel-good movie
The Air Up There, Jimmy Dolan (Kevin Bacon) is a college basketball recruiter and assistant coach. He was a college star until a knee injury during his senior year. When a recruit challenges him, he can’t resists. He embarrasses the kid who walks away from signing. It’s a blow to Jimmy’s ambition to be the head coach. During a banquet, the coach announces his retirement. There is also a video of a mission he supports. Jimmy notices a giant playing ball in the background of the video. He ignores his assignment and goes to Africa. Saleh turns out to be the chief’s son with expectations to stay home for the cattle herding tribe. The land is threatened. Sister Susan sees Jimmy’s self-serving motives. There is also a well-funded team with outsiders intending to buy up the tribe’s land. When Jimmy makes an off-handed challenge, the chief ups the ante by betting all of the tribe’s land.
It’s a bit of white savior but it’s more of a native savior. Jimmy is broken and he is fixed by his immersion into the culture. Some of it is cheesy Hollywood. None of it can be taken seriously. However, there is a good lesson learned. It’s a harmless feel-good movie. The Air Up There
The Air Up There, As someone who’s never really been into sports, “The Air Up There” hardly seems like the sort of movie that I would like, but I did. When basketball talent scout Jimmy Dolan (Kevin Bacon) goes to Kenya to recruit a new player, he ends up finding Saleh, a chief’s son whose skills exceed what anyone could have imagined. But before he moves to the states, there are some things that both sides are going to have to deal with.
This movie is interesting mainly for two reasons: it’s good to see a sports movie that’s not all about machismo, and a movie that looks at Kenyan culture (not one that we usually get to see). The movie isn’t really any kind of masterpiece, but it never pretends to be one. There are some scenes that look like they were thrown in for comic relief (namely the goat milk). Pretty interesting.