starring Will Smith, Jon Bernthal, Tony Goldwyn, Dylan McDermott
written by Zach Baylin
directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green
by Walter Chaw You know what this movie is. You know the major beats, you know the resolution, and in those rare instances when something happens you maybe don't expect, you know immediately how it will resolve. There is no surprise to movies like Reinaldo Marcus Green's King Richard by design, not misstep--they are by their nature for the least discriminating audience, the ones desperate to avoid challenge, thinking, reconsideration, discomfort. It is Taco Bell on vacation. You go there for a reason and none of it has to do with the quality of the food. It's the disgusting robe you've had since college that your wife begs you to throw away, but you don't. King Richard is garbage that people like, machine-extruded pap, hardwired and cynically engineered to garner a certain level of prestige. It's the uplift picture multiplied by a minority voice. It’s ugly manipulation, more horse-betting than art--though the gamblers would argue that what they do is science rather than just venal calculation.