We follow the life of one of the greatest rappers in history, Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.) from when he was a child being raised by his former Black Panter mother, Afeni (Danai Gurira) to moving to California and getting into the rap game. A good film about the life of Pac has been a long time coming.
And it turns out we're still waiting for that.
This movie should not have failed the way it did. Shipp really resembles Tupac. He has the mannerisms down perfectly. Danai Gurira is amazing as Afeni, she gets to show the emotions I wish Scott Gimple would allow her to show more often on The Walking Dead. But the direction of this movie just rained down too much negativity for this cast to salvage it all.
The biggest thing is this movie feels cheap. It's edited like a Lifetime movie. The characters often feel like they're speechifying instead of having actual conversations and while Pac truly witnessed some awful things, it's shot in a way that makes it almost too melodramatic. There's only so many times the camera can linger on him looking defeated while terrible shit happens a few yards away.
On the supporting side the film does a few things right, like bringing in Jamal Woolard to play Biggie again, like he did in his own bio pic Notorious (which isn't perfect but is far better than this) But that one good thing doesn't erase what they attempted to do with Snoop Dogg (Jarrett Ellis), which is casting an actor that looks nothing like him and having his voice dubbed by the actual Snoop Dogg. Earlier in the film, I noticed that Shipp's lip syncing wasn't very believable, I almost take it back after seeing the disaster that was Snoop.
I can see now why Joel Singleton walked away from this. I'd like to see him make a Tupac movie. Hell, they can use this same cast (minus Ellis) I have no issue with them. A strong script and a more skilled director would do wonders for this movie.
Memorable Quote: "Use that platform to make a change." - Tupac Skatur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.)