By Ty Burr
Updated June 10, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

One odd little movie, The Air Up There sends a college basketball recruiter (Kevin Bacon) to the plains of Kenya, where he goes native with a vengeance. Too exotic (and light on the hoop action) for armchair jocks, the movie’s also predictable — underneath the tribal face paint lies every come-from-behind sports cliche. The depiction of the locals is sympathetic but shallow, and who knows why the producers filled the soundtrack with pop music from South Africa, a country more than 1,500 miles from Kenya. (Guess they think it all sounds alike.) Still, Bacon’s an engaging pro, Charles Gitonga Maina (as a 6-foot-8-inch tribal warrior) is a tranquil charmer, and you do get to travel to a place and a culture that Hollywood rarely bothers with. Too bad they made it look like Disneyland. C+

Advertisement

Comments