After a great perspective into the rich history of rap in the form of “Straight Outta Compton,” there was a lot of expectations that this Tupac biopic failed to deliver.
Directed by Benny Boom, the film juggled several narratives that never felt like a complete experience into the life of the late rapper superstar, which can be explained by how the editing worked.
Much of the story played out in a flashback, where Tupac discussed his life while incarcerated in prison in 1996.
From this, viewers will get a small look into Tupac’s childhood, none of his teen years and much of his adult years, with a quarter of the movie foreshadowing his untimely death.
Much of the narrative just felt really restrained in how it was told, cutting back to the interview that really sucked much of the time that could have been used to really flesh out characters.
Demetrius Shipp Jr. embodied the look and mind of Tupac, and put on quite a performance, but pretty much did all the heavy lifting.
Everyone else who may have been a prominent role in the real-life story are simply background characters that lead him from one plot point to another.
Aside from Danai Guirira playing Tupac’s energetic and passionate mother, the rest of the cast just really never felt part of the film.
Maybe if the movie slowed down for a few more compelling scenes with consistent characters, the movie would have been able to give a vessel in really understanding who Tupac was.
Instead, viewers will get lots of scenes where people are just smoking, famous people show up, a music video on Tupac’s greatest hits and maybe a few wisecracks.
None of it ever felt stable or genuine, especially when the film cherry-picked a few topics surrounding Tupac’s fame, only for it to make its way to the inevitable death.
When the most compelling part of a film is getting to a person dying, then there is clearly a problem.
Tupac was an artist that is complex and almost difficult to understand from every perspective, and none of this film was able to provide that spotlight, as the structure it backed itself into was a straight path that threw development out the window and really felt cheapened by its look.
Still camera shots and filters on the screen was not what Tupac Shakur deserved. Heck, he was also an actor for Pete sakes!
Boom definitely did what he could in the look and feel of a rapper’s journey, but the production value and lazy camera work just added to the biopic that could not decide on what it wanted to tell audiences about Tupac.
Also, if you cannot make an actor portraying Suge Knight scary, then something is really wrong.