I promise that I originally had no intentions of writing any type review or comment on the Tupac Shukar biopic “All Eyez On Me.” I make no secret that Hip Hop is the culture that literally saved my life by providing me with a sense of purpose. Hip Hop has always been Mt. Olympus and 2pac being one of its gods. Pac along with The Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, Nas and a gang of others too far down the list to mention always represented the culture as art to its fullest. Movies like “Notorious” and “Straight Outta Compton” are a constant reminder that I am now at the age where the heroes of my youth are now being portrayed on the Hollywood screen so it’s easy to imagine why watching these films can cause me to be a bit oversensitive. So during the premiere weekend, I didn’t let the arsenal of “All Eyez On Me Sucked…” tweets distract me from my purpose, which was to see the film with a clear honest objective. However; 20mins into the film and it was clear that the truth was about to get ugly while the road will get tougher.

 

I would attach a ***SPOILER ALERT*** but it’s a biopic so if you don’t know Pac’s story by now, then sorry not sorry for your concern.

 

2Pac’s voice:

 

Yea, the actor Demetrius Shipp Jr does look like Pac in the film and captures the mannerisms in a few scenes. However, to conquer 2pac’s voice is a challenge that seems above his skill set. Pac’s voice was distinct and passionate no matter if he was yelling on the mic or ordering food at the drive-thru. In the film, the actor sounds like one of us when we’re rapping one of Pac’s songs in the car stuck in traffic.

 

The movie went through his life fast AF!!!!

 

We see 2Pac within his mother’s womb to learning his ABC’s, being a teenager hanging with Jada Pinkett Smith in Baltimore to moving to Northern Cali and getting a record deal in the span of 11mins. Not sure if while filming they were short on time because of an upcoming thunderstorm but Pac’s childhood development was more complex than the length of an infomercial.

 

 

Old rappers playing young versions of themselves.

 

Yea, totally confused why the powers-that-be thought it would be a good idea to have Pac’s former band mate Money B from Digital Underground play himself dressed in an oversized baseball cap worn backward with a Starter jacket that looked more distressed than retro. It was weird to see scenes where the real Outlawz who at the time of Pac’s death were younger than he was looking like a group of old uncles hanging around their young nephew who just got signed to the NBA.

 

 

How many thick ninjas can you get to play Suge Knight?

 

This is like the 3rd or 4th film where a basic thick ninja is playing former music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight. For all Knight’s flaws, if you’re gonna portray the man at least get someone who can act somewhat like him. The bigger question is where do they find these thick ninjas to play Knight? Do they have an arena where all the thick ninjas fight like Gladiators for the role? Is there a small town where thick ninjas who may play Suge live? It seems like whenever there’s a movie that needs a Suge Knight role filled, the ninja is always about 6’6 and weighs 300 plus with a beard, cigars and can easily whip a random dude’s ass.

 

In the film, 2Pac spent more time in jail than outdoors.

 

The majority of the film was 2pac doing an interview in prison while walking around getting random knowledge from an old black man for no apparent reason other than because that’s what old black folks do. For the amount of time Pac spent in prison, the film spent way too much time focusing on that aspect of his life.

 

 

Why lie on people who are still alive?

 

Jada Pinkett Smith recently spoke out against “All Eyez On me “stating that every scene in the film that portrayed her was false. Jada was a close friend to Tupac growing up and a serious vet in the game who has never been known for her silence. Jada has been straightforward on socially conscious issues that she had no personal attachment to, so what would make anyone think this same outspoken icon would remain silent watching a false portrayal of herself on screen? Is this how deep the influence of the Trump Administration; that it has become standard policy to replace truth with alternative facts?

 

Black people need therapy and not cigarettes

 

Not sure if the film had a secret endorsement for Kools because every black person in the film who was stressed was seen smoking a cigarette. The scenes triggered memories of my late grandmother and uncles who all would gather to smoke on some Marlboro lights and let their problems drift away. These scenes didn’t add nor take from the movie but I felt it was an opportunity to remind black folks that they could save themselves years of cancer treatments if they would consider seeing a therapist as a replacement for self-destructive habits.

 

We doing Voice Overs my nigga?

 

Yea so every time the actor playing Snoop Dogg spoke, the real-life Snoop Dogg’s voice would be heard. It must have been a shortage of tall slim brothers from Cali who could speak with a drawl because that would explain why each Snoop Dogg scenes looked like an old Kung Fu flick because his mouth moved at a 5-second delay from the actual voice. Was this lazy or were they banking on the audience being high while watching it?

 

Was this movie doomed no matter who did this?

 

Producer L.T. Hutton recently spoke out against John Singleton who claimed that the movie would be “bad because he wasn’t doing it” Hutton said that Singleton’s ideas of “Pac’s mom in threesomes, prison rapes, and talking dead heads” didn’t match with the original script. John Singleton was also a friend of Pac when he was alive and if what Sutton says is true, that means this movie had about as much hope to be good as Chris Brown getting a job on the Lifetime channel.

 

 

 

In case you missed it, All Eyez On Me is a really bad film, like really really really bad. And I’m not talking Hollywood bad to the masses but later becomes a cult classic like Baby Boy or Belly. Nope, I mean bad like this film should be the standard for what NOT to do. Whether it’s the random gospel song that plays at the end or the fake background you can clearly see as Pac and Suge drive on the Vegas strip, this movie was trash. Not to mention the questions that come to mind like is that Desean Jackson and what purpose does he serve? Or why does Suge Knight’s Coogi sweater look like a fortune teller’s rug? The list of bad in this film sadly goes on. As the credits rolled, I had hope that there would be a scene at the end like the Marvel movies that would tell me that this is a joke and the real movie comes out in a month. I even thought that maybe I was hallucinating because somebody replaced my popcorn salt with cocaine, but no such luck. Biopics walk the line between classic and parody so, unfortunately, All Eyez On Me is the latter. Perhaps 2pac’s stardom is too much to explain in a single film. He was a larger than life figure so the fact that it took this film nearly a decade to make is a testament to his legend. Maybe, we as fans are not yet worthy of a film about one of the most influential MCs in the game? At age 25, Tupac Shakur was a gifted actor, rapper, activist and voice for the forgotten whose legacy has and will live on. So maybe, I’m being oversensitive to think that All Eyez On Me stains 2pac’s place in history, or maybe while watching hopefully I was in the Sunken Place and this film really doesn’t exist.

J.Hall

@jhallradio

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