Tupac’s biopic “All Eyez On Me” was released worldwide yesterday. It’s been getting mixed reviews with some folks outright slamming it. I’ve seen it and just wanted to provide not a traditional review but just my random thoughts as I watched the movie and afterwards as I processed certain parts of the film. First things first Demetrius Shipp Jr. did a great job as Tupac wayyy better than Anthony Mackie's performance in Notorious. Not only does he physically resemble Tupac but he did a wonderful job of emulating Tupac’s mannerisms and personality. During certain parts of the film you may actually believe you’re watching the real Tupac and not just an actor. Dressing him in iconic Tupac attire also helped in drawing you into his performance.The movie had some time jumps that were a little random and confusing.
The beginning of the film showing his youth were a little all over the place and rapid fire from this point to that point. Not sure if that was by design to show that his youth wasn’t stable or was just a circumstance of not having enough material to draw from on that part of his life or bad storytelling/editing. They showed the beginning of his career with Digital Underground and how he parlayed being a hype man into getting behind the mic. I wish a little more time had been spent into how he developed his skill and convinced everyone to let him record his solo album “2Pacalypse Now”.
His friendship with Biggie received more attention which was interesting. They showed that they respected one another and Biggie looked to Tupac for some guidance. The true way their relationship disintegrated off a misunderstanding would have been nice to have been covered more. Tupac has a scene with Faith Evans that goes nowhere and really could have been cut out. I also wish his relationship with Quincy Jones daughter Kidada could have gotten a little more attention. I would have been interested to see how much she changed him for the better during their relationship as the film portrays he was very happy while he was dating her.
The music I felt was placed evenly throughout the film and at good portions of the movie. The reenactments of actual music videos as well as key scenes from a few of his movies were also nicely done. Demetrius also embodied Tupac’s stage presence during his concert films. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t play a snippet of one of my favorite Pac songs “Pain” but everyone could honestly have that gripe about which songs were excluded.All in all I felt it was a decent not great biopic.
Of course it will be compared to “Straight Outta Compton” which was a better overall film, and “Notorious” which I enjoyed but “All Eyez On Me” may have a leg up on only time will tell on that scenario. Only thing I enjoyed was that it showed different personalities of Tupac from his soft side, silly fun side, militant side, gangsta side. The multiple facades of his personality show’s that he was human and even though he accomplished a lot he was still a very young guy trying to find his way in the world. That could explain his radical metamorphosis when he joined Death Row and the film kind of poses the question of was he just desperate for a better situation when he joined Death Row? Some folks love him, some hate him, some question his authenticity but Tupac is a hip hop legend and icon ,this film while skips out on a lot and has its flaws, does give some insight into his mentality of the man and who he may have become had he lived a little longer.