One Man And His Shoes. Review.

How much can you expect a potential audience for something to have seen a very recent incredibly acclaimed very similar piece of content. (in this case a TV mini-series. )This was the question this critic was faced with after watching One Man and His Shoes. This feature documentary focuses in large part on the impact of Michael Jordan as a sportsman and marketing figure within American culture. As viewers might expect a lot of the brief 80-minute runtime is dedicated to discussing the initial launch and impact of Air Jordans. This might set off thoughts in certain potential viewers heads .”Didn’t The Last Dance already cover this? Yes, it did. The two pieces devote similar running time to Jordan’s marketing promise (although the mini-series puts it in the context of a much larger narrative.) One Man and His Shoes might not fall into being as much of a hagiography but if viewers have seen The Last Dance the roughly 50 minutes of the running time will be nothing new to them. The film is solid enough in its own right and might be a good alternative if watchers were interested in the subject matter but did not want to see it documented as part of an 8 1/2 hour10 episode series. The film even has some of the same interviews that can also be seen interviewed separately in its bigger brother. The film does eventually differentiate itself. The final 25 minutes cover the impact of Air Jordans as a status symbol with a focus on the impact among the poorest American neighbourhoods. The film doesn’t hesitate to highlight the stories of victims who have been murdered exclusively for the shoes on their feet. This is material The Last Dance would not touch. There would be too many stakeholders in getting the series to air even if the filmmakers did want to spend extended periods on the darker side of Michael Jordan’s legacy. A much smaller scale documentary such as One Man and His Shoes can shine a spotlight on this material even if the marketing/corporate side of the documentary has been covered elsewhere. The final 25 minutes are an emotional gut punch and make the film worth seeing regardless of individual feelings on Michael Jordan or The Last Dance as a whole.
For 75% of its running time, One Man and His Shoes is a solid enough documentary in its own right but can’t escape the shadow of its much bigger brother The Last Dance. The story of how air jordans came to be is still a very engaging one regardless off which documentary is telling it. The final third focusing on the literal murderous impact of the Air Jordan brand makes the film worth seeing. This separates it from simply being another corporate advertisement . that said if watchers see this documentary and enjoy it the immediate next step would be to point them in the direction of Netflix/ESPN and suggest a watch of The Last Dance is in order.
7/10

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