2pac was arguably one of the greatest rappers and most interesting individual in the history of hip hop. Producer L.T. Hutton and director Benny Boom wanted to make sure you knew that in the film, All Eyez on Me. The movie, titled after the emcee’s famous double album, focuses on the life and times of Pac, all the way up to his untimely death in 1996. Personally, I was excited for this hit the theatres after sitting through years of news that included false starts, cast additions and changing directors. For some internet critics, it was not necessarily viewed the same way.
The 2pac biopic delivered the way biopics usually occur: Background, main story, perfect ending point. For the NWA movie, you got how they started, the highlights/conflicts that happened in relation to the group, and it ended on the unfortunate death of Eazy E. In this movie, you get highlights such as his upbringing, rape case, Quad Studios shooting and Death Row tenure. We all know how it ends but it still needs to be dressed up a little. Me personally, since Pac’s death over 20 years ago, I’ve heard so many stories and tales about him, that 2 hours and 20 minutes cannot really tell a whole story.
Another win that the movie scored, was finding someone to play 2pac, which they nailed accurately. When I first saw Demetrius Shipp, Jr. as 2pac, I almost believed the rumor that Pac was alive in Cuba and ready to announce his return at the premiere. That is hard a thing to lock down. Even in Notorious, Jamal Woolard had the voice and mannerisms down, but his heavy set frame still seemed smaller than the actual Notorious B.I.G. The fact they found an actor who could act and be a spitting image is a rare and amazing accomplishment.
There were some hiccups in the film that could have been avoided. In the scenes where he is getting into rap, they all seemed rush. It’s like one day he was in his performing arts school and the next he’s auditioning to be apart of Digital Underground. Being that rap was a huge part of how he became known, make that part a little more dramatic and drawn out to an extent. Another bump, was Snoop Dogg. Now the scenes with Snoop were few but impactful; however they were tainted. If you look closely, you can tell that they used a voiceover, which will throw you off completely. Not sure why they couldn’t get the guy who played Snoop in Straight Out of Compton but a voiceover in a biopic is nowhere close to being a good look.
The criticisms seemed miniscule when watching the movie. The biggest one came from Jada Smith, who pretty much dismissed all the scenes that featured her as false. But that goes back to the point made about biopics. They have to follow a certain storyline, and sometimes things are added that may enhance the storyline a little. People also seem to think that it was underwhelming of how 2pac was betrayed, which I found as bullshit as well as a surprise. Just a week or two ago, Wack 100 was talking shit about 2pac and nobody really batted an eye (insert Joker meme).
I really liked this movie and can’t think of too many other ways it can be better. People were expecting 2pac to get shot, rise on the 3rd day and go to Cuba, but that just wasn’t going to fly. Pac was a guy who had his flaws and struggles along with his successes and accomplishments. This film did a great job in showing who he was as the man and artist that we hold in high regard within the hip hop culture. That’s all my “eyez” could really ask for.