dir: Reinaldo Marcus Green
You know, I don’t want to talk about the obvious thing, at least not yet.
I did watch this flick, this long-arsed flick well before those infamous Oscars. And I remember wondering out loud “why does Will Smith like playing these boorish, selfish, blindly stubborn jerk fathers?”
People, we might have an answer.
He previously played the lead (when he was previously yearning for an Oscar) in a biopic about a homeless guy with a kid who somehow goes from sleeping on the floor of a public New York bathroom (with kid in tow) to be a millionaire stock broker because he someone managed to convince a guy that solving a Rubik’s cube meant he would be great at trading. That flick was called The Pursuit of Happyness. That also had remarkably tone-deaf scenes where a monster father is acting abusively towards his kid, but they try to ‘lighten’ the mood with a jaunty soundtrack.
This, well, this is another order of awfulness, and it too is based on a real person.
Then of course there’s the staggering idea that the real hero in Venus and Serena Williams’ rise to the top of the tennis world is really the story of how their monstrous father made it all happen.
Without him… what? The flick never really actually proves what seems like its reason for existing. Sure, there are scenes where Richard Williams, the king of the title, refuses to change his mind about something or farts loudly during a meeting to show how unimpressed he is with what’s being offered, but it never clearly actually proves what it wants to prove: that the only reason Venus or Serena became champions is because King Richard made it so.