King Richard – ★★★★★

Certificate – 12A
Directed By – Reinaldo Marcus Green
Starring – Will Smith, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Aunjanue Ellis, Tony Goldwyn, Jon Bernthal, Andy Bean, Kevin Dunn, Craig Tate.
Running Time – 144 Minutes (2 Hours 24 Minutes)

For many people of my generation, I’ve grown up watching Will Smith transform from the Fresh Prince to one of the most prominent actors in Hollywood. I’ve always enjoyed watching his films like Suicide Squad, Aladdin and the Bad Boys movies, but I’ve always only ever seen Smith, not the character.

However, in King Richard, I saw Smith give a performance of his career and I’ll hope he’s one of the frontrunners for Best Actor gongs during award season.

King Richard follows the uplifting journey true story of Richard Williams (Smith), whose unconditional belief and resolve with his clear vision of a 78-page plan to transform his daughters, Venus (Sidney) and Serena (Singleton), into two of the world’s greatest sports legends.

Image via Waner Bros

As mentioned above, I was captivated by Smith’s performance being someone unbelievably stubborn with his vision that he’d happily be a dick to protect his daughters. Yet you see he loves the limelight and lifestyle that the talents his daughters brought.

Several incredible moments with Smith throughout different stages, from protecting his family and realising his little girl is becoming a young woman that was stellar acting.

It’s not all about Smith. Sidney and Singleton are wonderful and bring so much life into the film. It brought a smile whenever they were on screen and watching them grow into the superstars they’ll become. It was great to see the film turn from being about the dad to focusing more on Venus.

Image via Chiabella James/ Warner Bros

As well as these three superstars, the whole supporting cast was fantastic, from Ellis as the girl’s mother to Goldwyn and Bernthal as their coaches. It’s a strong case that Bernthal could be one of the strongest supporting actors of his generation.

He brought so much life and light to the role of Rick Macci that he was the only one to get through to Richard before Venus did the rest.

Behind the camera, Green’s direction is the best I’ve seen this year as I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. It had me so glued I didn’t want to get out of my seat and miss anything even though I needed the toilet for roughly two hours.

Then comes the screenplay by Zach Baylin that would’ve heavily involved the Williams’ as you can see the development in everyone. There were also scenes involving Smith and Ellis that brought so much realism and would add a powerful moment with Ellis herself.

Sadly for Chris McKay and The Tomorrow War, King Richard is the best film of 2021 and my new favourite, but I’m sure McKay will understand.

Warner Bros should be putting everything into this movie during award season because as well as Best Actor, it’ll have both Supporting categories with Sidney, Singleton and Bernthal. Then add Best Screenplay (unsure if it’s adapted or original), Director and Final.

I hope this is what we get from the Fresh Prince in the future to balance out the great entertainer.

Verdict

This is the best film of 2021 with stellar performances from everyone, especially Smith, and I can’t wait to see it again.

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