After the roaring success of Straight Outta Compton, the news of a movie chronicling the short, yet poignant life of Tupac Shakur.
He was a man of many faces. On one hand he’d let you know that he loved women making song like “Keep Your Head Up” or “Dear Momma”. Then he’ll turn around and drop a song like “I Get Around” talking about all the women he sleeps with. Speak on how the black community needs to stick together and then make a song like “Hit Em Up” (which is still in the top 5 most vicious diss tracks in Hip Hop). Being a Hip Hop Head myself I was leery of the end product of this film but I was both pleasantly surprised and massively let down by this film.
The acting from the leads was pretty good for the most part. Demetrius Shipp Jr. plays Pac pretty damn well. His mannerisms, speech pattern, even the way he performs on the stage mimics Shakur quite closely. Afeni Shakur was a woman of intelligence, and courage but not so much in this movie. The way that Danai Gurira played Tupac’s mother was not so much that way. She constantly dropped the word motherf**cker, which made her seem less than studious. I also, disliked her delivery of her lines which came off like she was playing a slave.
Dominic L. Santana who had to play the infamous Suge Knight had it easy playing a fairly straight forward gangster that did business through fear and intimidation. He did his job but there was not much to the role or the portrayal. The guy that they got to play Snoop Dogg was the worse. He looked nothing like the man that cooks with Martha Stewart. I also suspect that Snoop did voice over for the young man that played him in the film as it sounded far to close to his voice.
The movie kind of rehashed a lot of commonly known knowledge about the man, the myth, the legend. The greatest sin of this story is the content of the theatrical cut of this film. It showed all of the trouble Tupac got in to and hardly any of the good he did throughout his lifetime. They mention the T.H.U.G. Life movement he wanted to start but never spoke on how he was implementing it to help his people. They never mentioned the speeches he gave or the poetry he wrote. He was a multifaceted man and that was never touched upon by the finished product we receive in All Eyez On Me.
I spoke with a white couple after they saw the movie. The husband was a Tupac fan and had a lot of the same issues that I had with picture. He felt like they made him seem really gullible because he was too ready to do dumb stuff and never was shown using the vast intelligence he truly possessed. The wife knew little of Tupac but it peaked her interest in what the Black Panther Party stood for an what they went through. This was important to me cause anytime something brings questions and a spark for knowledge on the plight of The Black Panthers it is urgent to cultivate that interest and spread that part of how crazy this country really was for a portion of it’s citizens. We actually had a rather lengthy conversation about the subject and she thanked me for filling her in and promised to research more. I walked away glowing.
This movie could’ve been more with a run time of almost two and a half hours. They took a pretty safe route with the film and ended up with a boring outcome. This should of never happened with none of Hip Hop’s most influential contributors. I’m leaving this film with 2 out of 5 stars.