THEATRICAL REVIEW: Will Smith back atop the A-list with Oscar-worthy King Richard


It’s no secret that one-time Hollywood darling Will Smith has had a hell of a difficult decade.

From family drama and teary interviews about wife Jada Pinkett-Smith to his fading star power, it seemed Smith may never reach back up to the heights he was on in the early 2000’s.

Movies like After Earth, Suicide Squad, and Collateral Beauty severely damaged moviegoers’ faith in betting on the star for quality content. But with King Richard, Smith is not only back in top form, but could well win his first Oscar.

It follows the father of Venus and Serena Williams, two sisters who would eventually become the tennis superstars we know and love today. It chronicles the journey of Richard Williams to protect his eight children from the trappings of a low-income life. He pushes them for greatness, even if his methods can be unorthodox.

Richard’s coaching and relentless passion and belief in his daughters is remarkable, and director Reinaldo Marcus Green (Top Boy) takes on this bigger-budget project with sensitivity and aplomb.

Smith hasn’t been this good since The Pursuit Of Happyness, and he reminds every single one of us exactly why he was once considered the ultimate movie star. His charisma and power on-screen are just so dynamic, I couldn’t look away.

Throw in a harrowing, incredible performance from Aunjanue Ellis as his soft-spoken wife, and we have Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination discussion with this wonderful role being seriously touted.

This isn’t your typical sports movie, and I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment. All hail King Richard, and welcome back, Mr. Smith.

4/5 Stars


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