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King Richard Blu-ray Review

The cast carries “King Richard.” 

In “King Richard,” the true life story revolves around Richard Williams who is doing everything in his power to make his daughters Venus and Serena Williams become professional tennis players. The trials and tribulations of the path to success are covered here alongside the struggles of living in Compton, various coaches, tournaments, the decision to elevate Venus over Serena, and so on.

As a film “King Richard” is nothing revelatory. From a storytelling perspective, it’s a pretty standard biopic/sports biopic that hits the usual dramatic beats that you expect to see in this genre. Moreover, the script by Zach Baylin is perhaps too soft in its depiction of Richard Williams. Some of his flaws as a controlling father who guides his kids future are addressed, but in the end, it feels like his problematic personal flaws are overshadowed given what he and his daughters accomplished. Ultimately it might not be too surprising that it’s self-congradulatory given that Venus and Serena were involved in this project.

Perhaps the most perplexing element of “King Richard” is that it has an identity crisis. The title suggests it’s a story about Richard Williams, but that’s only partially true as the second half feels more devoted to Venus Williams. With all of that said, as a biopic and a slice of cinematic entertainment, “King Richard” does hold your interest while also telling an emotional story about the rise of 2 sports superstars and their father who sacrificed so much to make their dreams (or maybe his dreams?) come true.

The cast is really what elevates “King Richard.” Will Smith may be best known for blockbusters like “Independence Day” and “Men In Black,” but the actor is most compelling in dramatic roles ala “Ali,” “Concussion” and now “King Richard.” Does it appear that he tries a bit too hard at times? Yes, but seeing the actor expand his range and take on real life figures is infinitely more engrossing to watch. Academy Award nominated Aunjanue Ellis shines as Brandy Price (the wife of Richard and often the voice of reason) while rising star Saniyya Sidney makes a big impression as Venus Williams (don’t be surprised if she starts appearing in a lot of movies). Perhaps the most unsung performance in this movie though is Jon Bernthal as Coach Rick Macci. It’s a very unusual role for the actor and he absolutely crushes it. He brings such an enthusiasm to the part and his scenes with the rest of the cast are electric.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? Expect a nice clean transfer.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? A predictably layered Atmos track. 

Extras:
* Digital copy
* 3 minutes of deleted scenes
* “Following The Plan: The Making Of King Richard”- A solid making of featurette with interviews, film clips, set footage and discussions about the project.
* “Beocming Richard”- Will Smith and others talk about his performance and transformation into becoming Richard Williams.
* “Champions On Screen”- A featurette about bringing the real story of this family to the big screen.

February 15, 2022 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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