Serviceable as a movie I guess, and everybody in this was fine. That guy who physically abused Chris Rock* was good. But Richard is such a prick in this film. There’s a way to make him not look like a blow hard, and I don’t think this it. 

I also think there are more interesting stories here that aren’t told: what’s the plan? How did Richard come up with the plan? Where did he learn so much about tennis? Undoubtedly people asked, and undoubtedly he told them. I’d like to hear those stories too. 

I think my beef is that this hit all the correct notes to be a functional capital-M-as-in-Money-making-movie. And yet, despite that, it’s an incomplete sports biopic at best, and a poorly rounded and incomplete character study at worst. 

Keep the talent involved, rework the script three more times, figure out that your story has to be about something more than a jerk being right, which is unremarkable in and of itself, and then you’re on your way to a capital-G-as-in-Good-movie. 

* Imagine how many people have wanted to punch Chris Rock in the face. Will Smith does it, in a very inappropriate setting, and Hollywood gives him ten years for that. Seems suspect to me, given how much I doubt the pious nature of that crowd, but I’m just a jerk on a social media site. Nobody’s making movies about me being right all the time.

Reply on Letterboxd