Opening June 15, 2017
Directed by: Benny Boom
Writing credits: Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez, Steven Bagatourian
Principal actors: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham, Lauren Cohan, Hill Harper.
All Eyez On Me documents the short but prolific life of the artist Tupac Shakur (famous American rapper murdered at the age of 25), which could of have been a great tribute to him and the genre of hip-hop music, but sadly falls flat and is a disaster from beginning to end. Everything about this movie yells cheese from the rooftops, from the filming, to the style, to the acting, to the editing. Had I not known any better, I would have thought that the movie was actually filmed in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s. The storyline is disjointed and unclear, and many scenes felt unnecessary and did not add to or move the story forward. On top of this there was a heavy romanticism of the rapper, glossing over serious accusations of various alleged assaults, together with an arguably misogynistic approach to women. Tupac is portrayed as a nice guy who was surrounded by shady people, and too often suffered discrimination for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, please….
For a rapper who is known for the rage and anger he projects in his lyrics, he is portrayed as a happy go lucky normal person. This characterization felt inauthentic, not showing any darkness or hatred that he must have felt to be able to write such powerful songs. The two good things I can say about the movie are: Demetrius Shipp Jr. looks like a spitting image of the dead rapper, and the music that was integrated into the film is a good representation of his work for people who are not familiar with the rapper’s music. Unfortunately, the bottom line is this is a film about the African-American hip hop scene which lacks authenticity and power, and was just a waste of time. (Nava B.)