All Eyez On Me Reviewed By Clayton Barnett

The Premise
Tells the true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur. The film follows Shakur from his early days in New York City to his evolution into being one of the world's most recognized and influential voices before his untimely death at the age of 25. Against all odds, Shakur's raw talent, powerful lyrics and revolutionary mind-set propelled him into becoming a cultural icon whose legacy continues to grow long after his passing.

The Review
Two years ago F. Gary Grey’s Straight Outta Compton blew everyone away with the story of N.W.A.’s rise to infamy, and after hearing a Tupac biopic was in the works I was eager in anticipation.

Six years after he was stacking shelves at Target Demetrius Shipp Jr. makes his acting debut as Tupac, and by god you’d think it was Tupac himself up on screen. For his first outing Demetrius puts in a spirited and powerful performance.

Like Straight Outta Compton I came in cold on this, knowing only a few songs and his tragic demise. But just like N.W.A.’s revelatory story Tupac’s tale is just as educational as it is emotional.

His mother’s Black Power roots, his love of Shakespeare, his friendship with Jada Pinkett-Smith amongst all the headlines is compelling stuff, but just overwhelming  in the two hours twenty minutes running time. Music video director Benny Boom rushes through Tupac’s early years, when more time learning his rhymes might have made for a better picture.

But you’re here for the music and it’s electric, the concert scenes are worth admission alone.  For someone only 25 when he died, he made a ton of epic tracks that drop one after the other during the film, and when California Love hits it’s goosebump-inducing stuff. 

The Verdict
While it might not hit the heights of the more story-cohesive Straight Outta Compton, this straightforward biopic is still a raw and compelling look at the tragic life of a talent gone before his time.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 15th June 2017
Rating: R16 – Contains Violence, offensive language, drug use & sexual material
Duration: 139 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham
Director: Benny Boom (48 Hours To Live)

The Extras
Demetrius Shipp Jr.'s father produced "Toss It Up" for Tupac Shakurs "The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory" album.

Jamal Woolard also portrayed The Notorious B.I.G. in Notorious (2009).

John Singleton was originally attached to direct the film, but the studio and Singleton couldn't agree on how Tupac was to be portrayed in the film. Singleton eventually left the project completely but has since stated that he still hopes to make his own film about Tupac on his own terms some day. He was also the only director to have Afeni Shakur's full blessing to tell her son's story.

The movie is going to be released on June 16th, Tupac's birthday

Released 21 years after the death of Tupac Shakur.