At 41, I'm about the same age as tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, and as it turns out that while I was spending my early adolescence trying to Hammer dance and Knock out Mike Tyson on Nintendo, the Williams sisters were, you know, trying to do something with their lives. Good for them! I hear that worked out pretty well for them. Let's take a look at King Richard.
In a world that has never given Richard Williams the time of day or an ounce of respect, the father of five young girls in Compton, California in the early '90s, is determined for them to have a better life. He's a man with a plan, literally, specifically for Venus and Serena, who he and their mother methodically coach and advocate for to push them to become two of the greatest tennis players the world has ever known.
With a run time of nearly two and a half hours, you would think the film could teach me how to keep score in tennis, it didn't. I suppose that would've taken a few more hours.
But it did successfully teach me to appreciate the Williams sisters' rise to stardom, from the racial inequities they faced in Compton and coming up in the sport to dealing with their stubborn, peculiar, and overwhelmingly motivated father, played by Will Smith.
It didn't take long for me to get over his vocal lisp and accent which were a bit distracting, before Smith's performance had me caught up in this father's singular mission.
Smith and the entire cast were great as they experienced highs and lows both personally and professionally. It's a delightful and inspiring story of love, fierce determination, and family and you don't have to be a learned tennis fan to connect with this film and the family behind it
It has all the elements of a classic underdog sports film but with the feels of a modern fairy tale. Not much to not like here.
I thought "King Richard" was very good.