Without spoiling the sweet surprise as to which of your countless favorite Tupac songs will drop at just the right moment, I am providing my review of the biopic All Eyez On Me in honor of the late great King of West Coast Rap’s birthday today.
Now if you are a huge fan of Pac, you probably already know most of the events that are about to go down, but the film incorporates so many minute details that captivate the essence of Pac’s ambitious rider lifestyle, from exact duplications of his hand written poetry to his iconic black-and-denim 90’s outfits and Angel of Death chain, that you just might learn something new.
His social justice intentions were a constant theme, which was nice to see. Small scenes where he performed selfless acts were incorporated throughout to parallel the initiatives of the Black Panthers, a group with whom his mother was very involved. Themes of masculinity, family, police intervention, and other hot topics of today are also well presented. The complex juxtaposition of Pac’s thuggish persona and his more sentimental ideals were well represented by his fist’s confrontations followed by eloquent citations of Shakespeare. The flow of the movie was slightly choppy at first and though I understand that not every aspect of his short but full life could be included, I thought the repetition of one song was a bit of a waste considering there are so many to choose from. Overall, I appreciate how the songs are introduced in mostly chronological order. Similar to the recent Amy Winehouse documentary Amy, this provides a more intimate connection for the viewer to the music and the events of his life. However, I must applaud this film for standing out from any other celebrity music movie in that his songs are artfully mixed into scenes other than stage performances.
As far as the actor, I knew Demetrius Shipp Jr. would have a lot to prove considering he looks so much like Pac I don’t think he could ever play another role again. But he delivers Pac’s emotional rollercoasters with excellent control when he needs to and also lets all Hell loose when it comes to situations that Pac would be passionate about. I could sense his impulsiveness to act and lack of reservations when it came to defending the greater good. And although I barely remember a single scene where he rocked the black bandana to hide his scars from the first shooting, I highly recommend this movie to all 90’s babies, hip hop heads, and dreamers of peace and freedom.
God Bless the Dead. Happy Birthday Pac.