Keep It Reel: ‘All Eyez on Me’

By Marc Woodfork

“All Eyez on Me” is the biographical story of one Rap music’s most polarizing figures.  Most loved his music but were indifferent of the man.  There isn’t much to say about this film.  For the neutral, or someone who doesn’t know anything about Tupac, this movie will shed some light about who he was and how he came to be such a huge personality in the world of hip-hop.  For those who grew up with his music, you’ll be sorely disappointed.  Relative newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. plays the role of Tupac. While he looks remarkably identical to him, his acting is something left to be desired.

It’s not all his fault.  The screenplay he had to work with is poor.  The supporting cast was awful.  The film plays like a first-year student film.  The main problem with the movie is that the filmmakers portrayed Tupac as a martyr — an innocent victim of circumstance,  surrounded by individuals that didn’t have his best interest in mind.  Some of that may be true, but Tupac certainly isn’t the “victim”.  He knew full well what he was involved with and helped instigate a lot of the problems that arose in his life.

I’m not sure who the audience is for this film.  It’s been over 20 years since he died.  Almost a full generation of people don’t care or have no interest in his music.  In the time since his death, kids have been born and are now graduating from college. They might know the name, and some of the music from their parents, but they’re not going to spend their money on this film.

Long time ago someone once told me, “the saddest thing in life is wasted talent”.  I think that sums up Tupac Shakur.  Great potential for great things.  It also sums up this film about his life.  Great potential unfulfilled.

 

 

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