All Eyez on Me
The premise of All Eyez on Me is an interesting one, promising “the untold story of Tupac Shakur” who is still considered to be one of the rapping legends of the music industry. Mystery still surrounds his death, as it remains unsolved 21 years on. The movie opens as a standard biopic, flipping between the beginning of Tupac’s life and an interview that takes place when he is in jail. While this structure sets up the character that the rapper later becomes it gets boring very quickly as the repetitive nature of the scenes take over. When we move past his time in prison the film picks up the pace exploring the music rivalry between Notorious BIG (Jamal Woolard) and Tupac (Demetrius Shipp Jr), alluding to the idea that the former was the cause of Shakur being shot five times when “mugged”. This storyline holds the potential to be really fascinating but is left behind in favour of repetitive scenes of parties and arguments. Another element that had potential but also gets overlooked is that of police brutality, as several sequences show this atrocity occurring but it seems to be forgotten by the protagonist later in his life.
The interwoven scenes of Tupac performing or recording music in the studio are engaging at the start, as they allow the audience to gain an insight into the context of the creation of these songs, but by the end they are over-used, favoured over important elements such as character development. The impression given from the story is that Tupac at 17 was the same man as he was at 25, meaning the viewer lacks any real understanding of who he is. The narrative relies on the fans of this great rapper knowing who he was rather than portraying him that way on screen. This does mean that interest remains for those who are devotees, however, the film just isn’t exciting or engaging enough for those who don’t already have an understanding of this mysterious figure.
All Eyez on Me is released nationwide on 30th June 2017.
Watch the trailer for All Eyez on Me here: