When the trailer dropped for All Eyez On Me last year Tupac fans were on the edge of their seats. This was a movie that people had been waiting on for nearly 20 years, and his story was finally about to be told on the big screen. Everyone involved in the production and writing of the movie had a lot of weight to carry on their shoulders because Tupac is considered one of the most influential hip hop artists of all times.
Many of us Pac fans were very young when Tupac died but as we got older we could really appreciate the messages in his lyrics. We were only able to get pieces of his character from documentaries and old interviews, so we looked forward to watching this film so we could discover more about the man behind the music. We wanted to visually see why he was so influential to hip hop and why till this day he is called a hip hop legend.
When All Eyez On Me was finally released there were a lot of low ratings and negative reviews on the internet. Despite the reviews we still decided to give the film a chance and form our own personal opinions. The first 30 minutes of the film was like watching a Lifetime movie! With the film being over two hours long we were hopeful that it could get better; it did improve slightly but mainly because of the concert scenes and music.
The movie felt very rushed, within the first hour of the film viewers were introduced to Tupac’s childhood, teenage years and his rise to success as an artist. There wasn’t enough time to process each scene or make a connection with the characters. The movie really lacked authenticity, emotion and passion. It didn’t feel like we were watching the actual characters, just people who were dressed up trying to play roles that weren’t convincing. The movie didn’t capture Tupac’s character or essence. Actress Jada Pinkett even spoke out saying she didn’t like the way her and Tupac’s relationship was portrayed.
Tupac was one of the most influential rappers but the movie didn’t show why he was so impactful to hip hop or black culture. Some of the acting and scenes were weak, melodramatic and almost cringe-worthy. Although the film was supposed to be a biopic it was more like watching a fictional story about the life of Tupac. Demetrius Shipp Jr’s strong resemblance to the late rapper added on to the hype of the film. Shipp did an okay job with portraying Tupac despite not having any acting experience, but he didn’t capture the essence of the rapper.
There was only so much that could be included in a two hour film but the directors and writers could have done a better job with highlighting substantial aspects about Pac’s life. The majority of the film were scenes of Tupac performing at concerts or in the recording studio. Yes he was an artist but there were also other aspects of his life that could have been shown more thoroughly. The film briefly touched on some of Tupac’s personal life like his activism, rivalry with Biggie Smalls, the alleged rape case, and his acting career, but for people our age and younger who didn’t know much about those events more details would have been beneficial.
Many critics of “All Eyez On Me” blame the writers and directors for the films lack of delivery. The movie was directed by Benny Boom who is more so known for directing music videos and it was written by Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez and Steven Bagatourian. John Singleton (Boys N The Hood) was originally signed on to be a part of the film but he stepped away from the project two years ago after stating that the production team wasn’t being respectful of the legacy of Tupac.
Honestly if you want to know the story of Tupac you should watch a documentary or catch up on some of his old interviews online. Maybe despite how bad we wanted to see a big screen film, a movie wasn’t necessary to preserve his legacy.