This biopic of the iconic rap group NWA starts with following the three biggest stars, Eazy-E, (Jason Mitchell) Ice Cube, (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) and Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins) from the very beginning. E selling dope, Cube writing lyrics on the school bus, and Dre with his DJ gigs. They eventually start to record with two more artists, DJ Yella (Neil Brown. Jr) and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) and become a sensation on the club scene. This leads to a man named Jerry Heller (Paul Giamatti) coming on as their manager, but specifically closest to E, and the eventual downfall of NWA, and the rise of many other things.
The run time kept putting me off seeing it in theaters. 2 1/2 hours is steep. The movie feels it, but there's so much to cover that it's completely understandable. I really enjoyed Straight Outta Compton. I can't call myself a massive NWA fan. I only knew of their big hits, but I listed to plenty of Dre and Cube afterwards. The nostalgia is strong in this film. Not only from hearing their songs, (which were expertly mixed with the actual tracks, and the actors rapping them) but seeing small cameos from artists like Snoop Dog, Tupac, and things like Ice Cube writing the Friday script. I loved it.
Acting can be something that is so hit or miss in bio pics, and this film hit it. Jackson is obviously a spitting image of his father and I'm so glad he got to portray him. It's almost jarring to watch mini Cube. Corey Hawkins, who is currently being wasted on The Walking Dead was excellent as Dre. He cuts a very intimidating, yet vulnerable figure at times. The biggest star, however is Jason Mitchell. A lot of this film is seen through Eric's eyes and Mitchell is tasked with a variety of emotions throughout. I read that one of Eric's sons auditioned to play him, and it didn't work out. While that's sad there couldn't be another child of an NWA member playing their dad, I cannot picture anyone else but Mitchell. He nailed it.
Straight Outta Compton might not be for everyone. I wasn't sure it would be for me, but it was.
Memorable Quote: "How do you like your new decor?" - Kim (Alexandra Shipp)