Thursday 12 October 2017

All Eyez On Me

All Eyez on Me is a Touching movie. From rapper to rapper to corpse, Tupac Shakur has touched many people, his occasionally touching songs have resulted in incredible album sales. His “Unwanted Touching” moments resulted in accusations for which he was imprisoned, and then severe moments of touchiness on his part, led to him being fundamentally..spoiler alert…killed to death in real life.

Starring Demetrius Shipp Jr. as the titular star, All Eyez On Me is a weak and obvious attempt at throwing together a movie in the dust of the successful Straight Outta Compton. The film depicts many legends of the Hip Hop world in the nineties such as Dr. Dre, The Notorious B.I.G, and Snoop but is primarily a biopic depicting Tupac’s life from fetus to genius to carrion pieces. 

Full disclosure: I was always one to spell rap with a capital C in front of it. Never really had the urge to listen to it on purpose aside from the occasional dance with an Eminem album in the nineties and still to this day find it, though less annoying than before, nothing more exciting than listening to a factory machine chugging along day to day. Though a rather angry and often sexist machine. 

Due to this, I was surprised to find that I did not hate this movie, though I was very prepared to, and put off watching it for quite a long time. Though due to logistics and moments of passionate whimsy I watched the first forty minutes three times. This is not to say that I enjoyed the movie, his life was interesting and I feel the filmmakers relied too heavily on paying fan service to people who already knew most of the story. I, however, knew nothing. I knew he possibly liked weed, lived the Thug Life and had a terrible addiction to being shot, an addiction, like so many before and since, that eventually resulted in his untimely death.

The film sits at the relatively long run time of two hours and forty minutes and begins with a tremendously staccato impatience. It started spitting the background facts of Tupac’s life at me like an excited child trying to explain to his parents that “Santa has been”, “The Tooth Fairy has died”, “I just saw a frog in the street” and “I tidied my room can I now have a puppy pleeeease.”

Tupac's mother or moms for short, was originally a Black Panther, one of the Revolutionaries as she did not hail from Wakanda. She is very adamant about making sure Tupac stays ‘woke’, and makes him read the news and Shakespeare so that he can talk women into bed even after his rape conviction and become a great poet, actor, and rappist. Sorry, Raper. Rapper. Forgive me.

From here we follow him through his impressively prolific twenty-five years, no matter what you think of him, it is clear he is an actual genius at what he does. This doesn’t mean think it’s great, but he is very good at it. I’m sure there’s someone out there who is an actual genius at shitting in the shape of a celebrity's faces, doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it, but there’s probably a documentary on Netflix...

The film is sometimes well shot, (but not as well shot as Tupac himself amirite?) with great nostalgic footage of a now twenty years ago version of the USA, interspersed with music videos and micro behind the scenes facts that almost completely fail to interest me at all. I can’t see who this movie is for, anyone who cares probably knows all this and it’s thrown together so lazily as to avoid holding my attention for less time than the work I’m supposed to be doing while I’m writing this.

The family of Tupac were planning on making their own version of this but did not have the rights, and are not allowed to speak about how shit they think it is for legal reasons. The film plays is structured with an interview but plays like a visualisation of the ramblings of a narcissist trying to convince himself he’s a nice guy with lots of friends. I don’t think anyone is going to enjoy this movie very much, but you should buy it anyway and prove me inevitably incorrect.

Thug Life
Peace Out.

Dave Roberts

All Eyez On Me at CeX

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