“All Eyez on Me” is directed by Benny Boom and stars Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham, Annie Ilzoneh, and Dominic L. Santana. The film is about the life of Tupac Shakur, a man most famous for his conscious rap that painted the image of brutal themes like racism in America, life in the hood, and gang violence among other things, and the rise and falls that occur during Tupac’s very short life.
This is a movie that I was very excited to see, as 2Pac is one of the most influential artists in the past few decades, as his musical style has influenced artists such as Kendrick Lamar to write music based on the societies they live in. Personally, I am a major fan of 2Pac and was hoping that this movie would pay proper respects to a legend while having the same sorts of success “Straight Outta Compton” had.
Demetrius Shipp Jr. is very good in the lead role here, as he is very believable with both the look and feel of Tupac Shakur. Shipp Jr. is able to overcome a pretty linear script in order to make a ton of passion come out in numerous scenes, and I found his performance to be the highlight of the movie. Many of the supporting performances were pretty good as well, as the cast does their best to bring this important biopic to life.
There are some real highlight moments that stand out from the story as a whole, with the film doing a nice job at bringing numerous important events in Tupac’s life onto the silver screen. From the shootings to highlight songs to some other conflicts, it was always exciting to see the historical events play out and to be played out rather well.
The problem is not with the events, but with how the editing team doesn’t make all of the story elements feel cohesive. The editing done in this movie is very poorly done, as each important scene shown within the life of Tupac Shakur feels almost completely independent from one another, and it makes for a story too confusing for people with no background information, and a story too bland for those who are big fans.
The story is pretty much a highlight reel of Tupac’s very event-filled life, but director Benny Boom never can grapple down this movie enough to gain much of any emotion from the film at all. Boom may have had a difficult task in front of him, but even with that said this is a poorly directed movie, with few moments really feeling tense or filled with any stakes at all. As hard as Shipp tries, there is just not that much to work with here to make anything stand out with an emotional punch.
While there are certainly tons of important things that need to be in a Tupac biopic, the 140-minute runtime feels way too long. I do not think every single important event in Tupac’s life needed to be here, and the way the film is edited makes the movie feel incredibly jumbled, and it really hurts the pacing of the movie and causes the film to feel even slower than it already was.
“All Eyez on Me” has a great lead performance and a couple of very cool moments, and there is certainly enough story to make a great film, but very lackluster editing and a weak direction makes this movie feel way too generic for a biopic on such an intriguing figure.
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