Tupac Shakur would have been 46 years old today. He was only 25 years old at the time of his murder and the true voice of a generation, not some whiner from Washington state. I’m not going to mix words and BS like most fakers who will claim in their reviews their favorite song was Dear Mama or Brenda’s Got a Baby (mine is Hit’em Up). Neither will I claim that the Makaveli album (actually titled The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory) was the most poetic and inspired record he had worked on prior to his death. My favorite album from start to finish is Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z…
Tupac scared people and that’s what voices of a generation do. His hands were never clean, nor did he pretend to be a saint. He admitted his faults and that’s what terrifies others, when someone sees him/herself as he/she truly is and still speaks his/her mind.
What is unfortunate is that 21 years after his murder, the most honest voice in hip hop had to be remembered in an insufferable, nearly 2 and a half hour biopic that would have served better as a mini-series. Just like Elvis and Michael Jackson, Tupac’s life can’t be summed up in one movie that played the notes but never made music.
What is even more disheartening is that as amazing as newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. is as Tupac and as powerful as Danai Gurira was portraying Afeni Shakur, the movie completely falls flat. At times you are so enthralled by Shipp’s performance that you forget he is acting and almost believe Tupac Shakur is back up on the big screen.
I wanted to like this movie…scratch that, I wanted to love this movie, but the only thing I loved were the performances of the two lead actors, which is the only saving grace of this biopic. The hard truth, Shipp and Gurira are untouchable, while the rest of the movie is flushable.
Shipp is someone I am excited to keep an eye on as given the right opportunities, he will become a major star. I don’t blame him for making his debut in this flick, what actor wouldn’t want to play a legend, especially their first time out? Gurira is going to be in Marvel’s The Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War movies, both coming out in 2018, which only makes me more excited for those films after seeing her performance in this snoozer.
Director Benny Boom should be embarrassed that he wasted these two talented actors in a B-Movie bomb. All Eyez On Me was elevated to two stars only because of the amazing performances by Shipp and Gurira. If lessor actors were in these two roles, I would have walked out 20 minutes into the movie, called the publicist and said, “I can’t review this garbage. They’ve done a disservice to the legacy of Tupac.”
If you absolutely cannot live without seeing anything Tupac related, go ahead and spend your hard earned money to see All Eyez On Me. However, if you interested in seeing a quality biopic about someone who is supposed to be revered as one of the greatest musical genii of the 20th Century, then save your money and wait until it comes on TV or Netflix because you’re going to be so bored by everything not involving Shipp and Gurira that you will need to watch it in sections.
All Eyez On Me is out today in theaters and the $2 bin at Walmart in about a week and a half.