By James Davidson
“King Richard” is a sports biopic starring Will Smith as Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, the famous tennis superstars. The film followa Richard as he raises not one, but two, of the best tennis players in the world. It shows the adversity that the family faced on their rise to stardom, from growing up in Compton, California, to their struggle in finding a coach. It is available in theaters as well as the HBO Max streaming service.
I was interested in this movie because I remember when the William sisters began their rise to the top of the tennis world, and I was curious to see what kind of adversity they faced and how they handled being thrust into the spotlight at a very young age. I was intrigued by the fact that the film chose to focus on the father of the sisters and not the star athletes themselves. While I enjoyed this film, I thought that it was a mistake to focus on Richard instead of Venus and Serena. Ultimately, this movie left me wanting more. I would have rather seen a film focusing on the sisters with their father in a supporting role instead of vise versa.
While I think the film focused on the wrong character, the movie was well made. Will Smith produced a strong performance as Richard, portraying him as a tough, but loving father who wanted his children to succeed. Saniyya Sidney (Venus), and Demi Singleton (Serena) also gave stellar performances as the sisters. Aunjanue Ellis, who played the sisters’ mother Oracene, gave an incredible performance as well. I honestly would have liked to see the other actors play a bigger part in the movie, I feel like a lot of their story was left out so that the film could focus on Richard instead. What Richard Williams did was incredible, the way he planned his daughters lives out and it all worked out. The amount of work that he put in was amazing and the way he was able to give his daughters the opportunity to become what they did was incredible to watch. However, I would have liked to have seen the other people’s perspective on it instead of only focusing on his feats.
The only other gripe I have with this film is the pacing. The movie is two and a half hours long and is very slow in some places. There is a lot of dialogue and not a lot of action. I feel like the movie could have been cut down to about two hours and it would have still gotten the point across. I found myself checking several times to see how much longer was left in the film because the movie was dragging on in certain places.
This movie is rated PG-13 for some violence, strong language, a sexual refrence, and brief drug refrences. There are some scenes depicting gang violence in the film, but hardly any gore and the language, while rough at times, isn’t prevalent throughout the film. Young children might have a hard time paying attention through the movie because it is slow in places. This movie would be best suited for a night out with your significant other, or a small group of friends. If you are a fan of Venus and Serena, I would recommend that you go see this movie at least once. Though, you might be left wanting more as I was.
“King Richard” has some fantastic acting, and is a weel made film. However I think it focus’ on the wrong person and can drag on in places. I will probably not see this movie again, but I am glad that I watched it once. It earns 2.5 out of 5 stars.