Plot – The true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.), from his early days in New York to his status as one of the world’s most recognized and influential voices. Against all odds, Shakur’s raw talent, powerful lyrics and revolutionary mindset establish him as a cultural icon whose legacy continues to grow long after his death.
Review – All Eyez on Me brings the life of the legendary and iconic rapper Tupac Shakur to the big screen. Pac has been an inspiration to rappers, entertainers, and every day people around the world for generations. When he died in 1996, my mom was 24 years old. That means she spent her early 20s listening to him(aka I spent my early childhood listening to him as well). So, to say that my family loved Pac would be an understatement. I’m reviewing this movie late, so by now – you know the movie is getting trashed by other critics. I’ll be completely honest, the movie isn’t terrible. But it is far from excellent too.
Everybody knows about the life of Tupac, so I’ll keep this review short and sweet. The main thing I loved was that they had the rights to use his music catalog. Have you ever seen a music biopic where they couldn’t play any of the artist’s songs? Yeah, they suck. We get everything from Shed So Many Tears, Ambitionz Az A Ridah, all the way to Hit Em Up. Not only was it great to hear those songs in a movie theater, we got to see them performed by the talented Demetrius Shipp Jr. This was the actor’s first real movie role and he does a good enough job to keep the moving rolling. Also, he looks like a clone of Tupac. Honestly, that’s what makes me upset too. As a Tupac fan, you want his first biopic movie to not be just good, you want it to be amazing. You want it to be on the same level of Straight Outta Compton(NWA’s biopic). And to top it off – you have an actor who looks just like him. The fact that it’s mediocre is a real shame for fans.
The thing the movie lacked to me was heart. We all know Tupac dies at the end of this movie, that’s no surprise. So when the scene finally came, I felt no emotion at all during what should have been the most emotional scene in the movie. That’s a problem if you ask me. The film felt very generic – like a Lifetime biopic. The editing was terrible and the production value felt very cheap. We get a scene where we have Tupac and Biggie Smalls talking on a hotel balcony, yet you can tell the skyline behind them is a painted wall. Although it mentioned a lot of key moments from the rapper’s life, it just didn’t flow as smoothly as one would think. The story telling felt messy. Let’s not even mention the actor playing Snoop Dogg lip-syncing audio dialogue from the real Snoop Dogg. I couldn’t take that seriously at all.
No matter how you feel about this movie, it will do nothing to Tupac’s legacy. His music will live forever. For someone who was as charismatic as Pac, All Eyez on Me failed to bring that to life. The movie is dull, and a tad bit too long. If it wasn’t for the soundtrack, it would have been even harder to sit though. The film spent most of it’s time showing us his time with Death Row Records, and the West-East coast rivalry. I wonder if they will ever get a chance to redo this and give the rapper’s story a proper treatment. I wish John Singleton would have stayed on to direct. Instead of bringing Tupac’s life to the big screen, they brought his Wikipedia page instead. I’m giving All Eyez on Me a 4/10.