Box Office $14.87 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $44.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some violence, strong language, a sexual reference and brief drug references.
Stars Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal, Tony Goldwyn.
Will Smith gives an outstanding performance as Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams, in a film that explores his vision for making them tennis superstars when they were growing up.
Hoping to break free of the cycle of poverty and violence of Compton, Richard creates a plan for his daughters to become professional tennis players and relentlessly sticks to it, often times running afoul of the coaches who agree to nurture his daughters’ talent. At times this makes him seem hard to like as he stubbornly refuses to take outside advice, but he remains intent to follow the plan he thinks gives his daughters their best shot at success in tennis.
The film covers the girls’ early years on the junior circuit, dominating the competition to such a degree that they attract the attention of a bevy of sports agents and management firms. Richard rejects most of their offers, wanting his instill a sense of normalcy in his girls and not willing to move on to the next level until he feels they are ready.
The Blu-ray includes two superfluous deleted scenes running a total of three minutes, and three behind-the scenes featurettes.
The nine-minute “Following the Plan” covers the making of the film, the six-and-a-half-minute “Becoming Richard” focuses on Smith’s performance, and the six-minute “Champions on Screen” looks at the child actresses playing Venus and Serena.