Movie Review: All Eyez On Me

Tupac
Out of all the biopic movies that was ever made such as Aaliyah, Whitney, TLC, James Brown and so forth just to name a few, All Eyez on Me told a story about the real Tupac Shakur and how he portrayed his life not only as a rapper from New York to California but a revolutionary leader (Tupac Amaru was the name of an Inca leader who led a rebellion against the Spanish conquistadors which also means warrior and messenger) preached to his community through his lyrics. His lyrics were more than a beat and songs, but about situations, he witnessed in his community. Although police officers and government leaders thought his lyrics were degrading and represented violence, Shakur kept going with his powerful poetic lyrics that caught his fans attention.

Tupac’s “look-alike” Demetrius Shipp Jr who plays Tupac in the movie grew up idolizing Pac as a young boy according to Heavy. Not only does the actor look like Pac, but the 28-year old totally transformed himself portraying his lifestyle, looks, lyrics, slang talk and how he acted. Submitting his tape for auditions when he was only 22, Shipp did a lot of research on the legend. He woke up listening to his music and even before he went to sleep, he had his music playing. Director Benny Boom took over the project as director in 2015, but the project started in 2011. From the beginning, the biopic kept the audience entertained. It was like you were living through Pac’s photograph lenses. Every scene, moment, the situation felt real!

Other major celebrities that were in the movie were Kat Graham as Jada Pinkett, Pac’s best friend from the Baltimore School of Arts Erica Pinkett, Jermel Howard as his step-brother Mopreme Shakur, Danai Gurira as Afeni Shakur, Lauren Cohan as Leila Steinburg, Jamie Hector as his stepfather Mutulu Shakur, Annie Ilonzeh as Pac’s fiance Kidada Jones,  Jamal Woolard as Biggie Smalls, and Hill Harper as the journalist recording Tupac’s story while the rap star was in prison for sexual assault charges.

One of the scenes that were eye-catching was when Tupac and Jada Pinkett were talking and he just broke the news to her that he was moving to California. He took out a piece of paper which was actually a poem addressed to Jada and read the heartfelt poem out loud. It showed the compassion of their close bond and although tears were shed, their friendship still remained. That was a moment where Pac showed his poetic side. It felt like the Shakespeare was coming out of him.

Another great scene was when he was in the courthouse waiting for his sentencing for a rape he didn’t actually commit. The engagement Pac had with his mother was very warm and caring. He didn’t want his family to worry about him.  “Dear Mama” played in the background when Afeni Shakur exited the courthouse and entered into a cab while she cried about her son. That scene was very emotional and it showed the true relationship Pac and his mother had.

The celebrities that were chosen to play the roles of some major characters really killed it!  Kat Graham showed up and showed out! Not only does she resemblance Jada Pinkett a little, but she always wore some of the same hairstyles as well. Kat has always been a great actress from the jump especially in her lead role in Honey 2.  Another actor that really did his thing was Jermel Howard. He is on the rise as he joins the new season of Power which airs June 25 and Tales on BET. Great job Jermel!

All Eyez on Me is a must-see movie that will open up eyes to Tupac,  not only as a rapper,  an actor,  and a poet, but an activist who cared about his community and expressed himself in a way like only he could. Five stars isn’t enough stars to rate this movie; it’s just that damn good!

 

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