This American 2017 Biopic  of Tupac Shakur’s  music and acting career has raised a lot of eyes. Before watching the film myself, I scrolled across a tweet thread by Jada Pinkett Smith:

Despite the lack of support by many of Tupac’s close celebrity friends and fans who decided to follow Mrs. Smith’s’ decision, I decided to see the film myself.  I personally did not grow up on Tupac’s music as intensely as others. I’ve always wanted to learn more about him, so I felt that this would be a good introduction. I do not suggest relying on biopics to give you all the information you need to know about a person’s life, but it give you so major details that were most prominent in that person’s life or career. I have watched Biggie’s biopic, Notorious, and the biggest debate that is still unanswered till today is whether Biggie had something to do with Tupac’s death in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Actor Demetrius Shipp Jr., takes on the role of Tupac, helping portray this “true and untold story”. Based on looks, he definitely was a good fit for the role. His head a little rounder than and bigger and his nose is quite thinner than Pac, but that can be overlooked. Also, the original actor from Notorious plays Biggie in All Eyez On Me, which is very nice to see. Directed by Benny Boom, the bio pic has received 17% on rotten tomatoes and has brought in 27 million dollars opening night.

As the movie begins, it starts off his story in 1995 at the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York and fastly moves backward into 1971 in NYC, to when he was still in his mother’s belly while she came out of a court case, defending herself and won. His parents and several of his family members were a part of the Black Panthers, which the film selectively captures. I felt that the movie was kind of slow the first 30 minutes and a little bit confusing going back and forth between the Tupacs current time of living and his flashbacks. After that I felt like things started to head in a better direction. Its shows how he went from the Digital Underworld to Interscope Records, ending up with Death Row.

The script was able to emulate some, but not all of the passion and frustration that Tupac had throughout his life and career. Although some parts of the movie may have been fabricated, pulling away from the real events that happened in the Pac’s life, it pretty much covered the notable events that happened in Tupac’s career. This film does do a lot of skimming throughout his life, not giving some parts of Tupac’s life the time it deserves. Demetrius Shipp Jr acting was not bad. I could sense his efforts of trying to be passionate, aggressive, and intense, as if he were Tupac himself. As the movie progressed, the more intense the movie became to me.

I would personally rate this a 5/10. I feel like the movie is somewhat incomplete, and way too condensed based on the impact and magnitude of Pac’s career. I don’t think that this is the best biopics I have ever seen, but it’s definitely not the worst. The chemistry and dynamic among all the actors made the scenes come to life at moments, but it seemed a little inconsistent in the beginning. For long life fans of Tupac, this film will most likely be disappointing. For people who are just a fan of biopics, it would not hurt to take a look at this film if you don’t know anything about Tupac. It won’t give you all of the facts, but it will give you a quick glimpse of what his career was like. I felt like I walked away with some new information about his life and have a better understanding of what his music stood for, yet they could have portrayed some of his life a lot better.-

by: Charlotte Seay


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