3 Years After Bombing at the Box Office, Will Smith’s Drama Gem Lands on Netflix

3 Years After Bombing at the Box Office, Will Smith’s Drama Gem Lands on Netflix
Image credit: Legion-Media

The actor shines in the role of a loving father of the two geniuses.


  • Will Smith ’s 2021 drama feature brought him not only public acclaim, but also an Oscar Award.
  • It follows the story of a father trying to bring his daughters to big sport’s success.
  • Despite grossing a small amount of money, it’s a worth-watching drama gem.

Known not only for the comedies, but also for the touching dramatical performances in such titles, as The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Seven Pounds (2008) and Concussion (2015), Will Smith continues to make the world fall in love with his acting skills.

In the 2021 drama he managed to do it the best way possible that he even received his first Academy Award for Best Actor. Overall, despite the movie becoming a box office failure, it gained positive critical and public reviews, mostly for the actor’s work.

The synopsis of this movie seems to be clearly simple: a father wants his two daughters to succeed in sports, while everything around is presented like obstacles in their way. However, it’s not like you may think in the beginning, but something more than that.

3 Years After Bombing at the Box Office, Will Smith’s Drama Gem Lands on Netflix - image 1

First of all, Will Smith’s once-in-a-lifetime performance can be the main reason to give this sports drama a try. You can easily forget it’s him and not the real father of the two prodigies, making all he is ever possible of to promote his family’s talents.

Then comes the movie’s important social commentary. The point is that it’s set in the late 1980's and early 1990's and features an African American family. It shows the whole struggle of these young girls to get through to the top in spite of racism and sexism.

It’s Based on Real Life

However, it’s not the very interesting part of this movie. It appears to be based on a true story, the one of the world’s most famous award-winning tennis players, Venus and Serena Williams, while Smith portrayed their father and the tennis coach Richard.

Sports dramas fans can recognize here the plot of Reinaldo Marcus’ King Richard, a critical success, which bombed at theaters, grossing $39 million against a budget of $50 million. It can be explained the movie was parallelly aired on HBO Max the same day.

“I've never in my life watched a tennis match, and I still cried at certain points,” as voiced by @LuxieLisbon in a Reddit discussion of the movie.

It’s definitely a great example of not only a sports drama, but also an inspirational story of parental perseverance, elevated by excellent performances and solid direction.

More than that, it gives “a great opportunity to see how amazing African-American fathers are,” as admitted by Serena Williams, who was involved in the movie’s production as an executive producer, just like her sister Venus.

King Richard will be available on Netflix on April 24.

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures