Director: Benny Boom
Benny Boom known for working within the hiphop industry with big names like Nicki Minaj, Nas, 50 Cent and Mobb Deep, with a number of smaller films and TV episodes of various American series. John Singleton was set to direct, who actually worked with Tupac on Poetic Justice, but he left the project due to disagreements with the studio. He still intends on telling his own story about Tupac and is the only director who has the blessing from Tupac mother to tell his story.
Obviously it's a film about the short yet turbulent and controversial life of American hiphop rap star, Tupac Shakur, his history, covering a lot of ground that might be quite familiar to many a fan. Personally I have always been a fan, remembering him from his Thug Life days, but did I really understand him or the reasons behind many of this songs and real life dramas.
Released exactly 21 years after his death, he had achieved and accomplished so much before his murder at the age of 25, not forgetting the gangland antics that took place that helped define the man he's sometimes remembered for. However, having so much to cover, the film does dragged slightly and for those familiar with his story, because you already now the outcomes and repercussions, you're just along for the ride waiting for certain key events to happen.
Having said that, I did learn a few things I didn't know, and the fact it's told from a different perspective, it helps to look at events a little differently to how the media reported it. I'm keen to know what the rappers and key people portrayed think of this story, as many aren't painted in such good light. All the big names are there, Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight, Faith Evans and of course, Dr. Dre.
It's an in depth view of Tupac's musical talent and creativity, his motivations and ambitions. His personal and family life, and lays out the events that leads up to that fatal night, including his prison time interviews, his previous life-threatening altercations the controversial meanings behind his lyrics.
Shipp has an uncanny resemblance to the late Tupac and I believe he's done the rapping superstar justice in portraying him. Though Jada Pinkett Smith has commented on some inaccuracies, she has praised Shipp's and Graham's portrayal. It's good to Woodlard reprising his role as Biggie Smalls which automatically hints at links with the film Notorious.
Much like Straight Outta Compton, it's an insightful look into the rap world and embellishes, or even possibly expands on Compton's film, not that they're directly connected. However, though, it's a decent addition to the genre, it's not as engaging as Compton and the only element that really stands out is Shipp being a spitting image of Tupac.
Running Time: 6
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 7
The Extra Bonus Point: 0