So the wait is over All Eyez On Me is finally being screened across the U.K, our US counterparts had it released on Tupac's birthday over two weeks ago. Because of this I refused to read any reviews, anything on social media I scrolled past, I wanted to make up my own mind without any preconceptions.
Honestly I was slightly disappointed for an array of reasons and I wasn't the only person, from the outset I have to state Demetrius Shipp did a decent enough job of portraying 2pac, however there were many aspects of the film that seriously let it down. What was so frustrating as a fan was that this biopic was supposed to do Mr Shakurs legacy justice, to open the eyes to the younger audience, to see beyond what was portrayed in the media or the folk stories we'd heard since his death, but It felt somewhat empty. Skimming the surface comes to mind, we are well aware Tupac's life couldn't be fit into one film but at times it felt like what we were seeing was all too familiar, interviews or sound clips that have been on the internet for years, stretched out into a film. Personally I wanted to see beyond what is on his Wikipedia page.
Visually the film was subpar, the cinematography wasn't great, the wardrobes really were a great glimpse back though time and that was pretty much it. For me the only part of the film that stood out, which again is briefly covered was Tupac's vulnerability. The negative situations that seemed to gravitate towards him, either through jealousy, racism or the general shit life decided to throw at him. The domino effect of this was not only the mental strain but also the financial, as these problems created legal issues which of course require crazy amounts of funding to fight. Even when he thinks his obligations at Deathrow are done he is still on reigns due to financial issues, through expenses and again legal battles.
Now here's where things fell apart, the casting!
Apart from Demetrius everyone else appeared out of touch, physically they resembled who they were playing but that was it! Characteristics didn't appear to have been studied and this is just the beginning. One question I would ask directors and the production team is what was up with Snoop Dogg? The first scene featuring him had the cinema in stitches, one what the hell was that Afro? And two why in gods name was it a voice over by the real Snoop Dogg? It looked like a badly dubbed foreign 70's movie, things like this made the film seem well, cheap.
My general consensus was the the film was ok, everything you can read about Tupac on line was put onto the screen and that is pretty much my final opinion. The Death Row section of the film is actually a reminder to a somewhat forgotten empire amidst all the controversy it was a company that launched the career of so many west coast icons and now it is nothing but a diminished dynasty, partly because of the actions and decisions of label head Suge Knight.
All Eyez On Me is another addition to the Hip Hop movie genre, sadly it is out done by its predecessors, the Notorious film and Straight Out of Compton. Out of all three the latter remains the best. The film is still worth a watch so check it out...