Review: King Richard
Richard Williams (Will Smith) has big dreams for his 5 daughters. He's raising future doctors, lawyers, and tennis stars. His two youngest, Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) are the tennis progenies, and Richard wants to make them the greatest in the world, while still letting them enjoy being children.
You have to give this film credit for not fitting so neatly into the standard biopic box. We know that Venus and Serena are two of the greatest athletes in the tennis world, but this film doesn't give them the main focus, and instead looks at what their father did for them. Both women are executive producers, and it comes off as a love letter to their father, for never once doubting them. I think that's a fascinating road to take here. Richard is determined not to have his kids grow up on the streets, but he also doesn't have the financial means to pay the high fees that sports so often require. When he can't swindle, he has to let his girls' talent do the talking.
Will Smith is phenomenal in this. I can't say I've *loved* a performance of his in years. For me, he's fallen into the "reliable" category. I can count on him to not be bad, but he rarely blows me away. Here he did. Especially when you see the footage that plays over the credits and you can see just how close he really did mimic the real Richard. Sidney, Singleton and Aunjanue Ellis, who plays their mother also give good performances. Ellis doesn't have a ton of screen time. but she absolutely commands the time she has.
The movie focuses more on Venus than Serena, which was kind of a surprise. (And one that bothered my son, he really wanted Serena, apparently) and at two and a half hours, it definitely didn't need to be that long. But in a world where we're always complaining about biopics being all the same, this one tried to step outside of that, and they succeeded.
You can watch this in theaters, or at home on HBO Max.
Memorable Quote: *farts* - Richard (Will Smith)