King Richard

King Richard ★★★

If you're looking for a Venus and Serena Williams biopic you're in the wrong place, as Will Smith goes from 'Fresh Prince' to 'King' in a film that worships his character, the titular Richard, above all else. His daughters' successes are framed as an essential inevitability in a story that focuses on the patriarchal hero behind getting them there, their eventual accomplishments a foregone conclusion in a film framed around believing in yourself. An inspirational, crowd-pleasing and well-acted movie, but also one that is heavy-handed, shallow and panders to the audience. It's a slighter effort than what could have been, but the emotional depth comes from the moving performances, not the screenplay. Lots of people are gonna love this.

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