Tupac Shakur was a divisive figure. This biopic looks to immortalise his greatest, most controversial moments.
The untimely death of Tupac Shakur (stage name 2Pac) has ensured his place in musical mythology. Snatched from life at the unjust age of 25, he can be seen in equal measure as a revolutionary, poet, gangster, musician, sex symbol and sex offender. The truth is he was all those things, all at once. That is part of the mystique of Mr Shakur, born Lesane Parish Crooks, he was contradictory, controversial and always captivating.
His rise and fall is to be immortalized in the film All Eyez On Me. As is the way with hip hop biopics expect it to gloss over any of the dodgier details of his life, in favor of painting him as a hood hero who was, time and again, challenged and put down by the system. His life, like everyone’s, wasn’t a simple case of night and day. In fact, again as with everyone, it hovered almost exclusively in some sort of twilight.
All Eyez On Me Movie
The movie, as with 2Pac’s life and meteoric rise, is set against an America divided, prejudiced and set up to keep the likes of Shakur down. Scenes of 2Pac (played by Demetrius Shipp Jr.) on stage in front of an adoring crowd are set against scenes of police brutality (directed towards Shakur and other African Americans) as well as his time spent in prison on charges of sexual assault. It stars Kat Graham as Shakur’s childhood friend, Jada Pinkett. Pinkett is now known as Jada Pinkett Smith and is married to Big Willie himself.
We see big moments in his life. We see his relationship with Notorious BIG (Jamal Woolard reprises his role from the film Notorious) flourish and sour. We see his meeting with Suge Knight (Dominic L. Santana) of Death Row Records. We see his shooting in the studio lobby that sparked his falling out with and distrust of Biggie. We see the assault he carries out in Las Vegas that would lead to his eventual murder. And of course we see that car pull alongside his at that fateful set of lights on East Flamingo Road just off the Strip in Las Vegas.
All Eyez On Me Trailers
There are four trailers out for the All Eyez On Me film You can watch them all below:
All Eyez On Me Trailer #1
This, the first trailer, kicks off with the words of his stepfather telling him these rather prophetic words, “You must stand for something, you must live for something and you must be willing to die for something.” It touches on the role of leader and spokesman for the black community that Pac sought.
All Eyez On Me Trailer #2
The second trailer focuses far more on the influence the authorities had on Shakur’s life and rise. The trailer starts with Shakur witnessing police brutality with a voiceover from Shakur exclaiming, “Cops kill innocent black folk everyday. And [former Vice President Dan] Quayle’s coming after me!?” The trailer later cuts to his mother Afeni Shakur (Danai Gurira) speaking to Shakur, saying “They are gunna give you the tools that you need to destroy yourself.” All the while images of women, drink, drugs and guns are shown throughout the trailer.
All Eyez On Me Trailer #3
This trailer is shorter than the first two and focusses more on 2Pac the artist. Taking to a stage in front of a baying crowd. But not without framing his success within the atmosphere of police brutality that was rampant in California, and formative for much of the hip hop that was coming out around the same time. Think N.W.A’s Fuck Tha Police.
All Eyez On Me Trailer #4
The fourth and final trailer focuses on the circumstances that lead Shakur to become who he was. From a family with deep links to the Black Panthers, Shakur was renamed at a young age. Tupac is the name of a native South American who led a revolt against the colonizing Spanish forces in the 16th Century. Tupac is told that he has the power to unite the revolutionaries and the gang communities. The trailer seems to suggest that 2Pac tries to convince Biggie to follow him as a leader of the black community. The trailer also offers a glimpse of the public outrage and moral panic that accompanied the explosion of gangster rap.
All Eyez On Me Release Date
The All Eyez on Me movie is set for release on June 16 2017. For fans of 2Pac that date will ring a bell; the film is set to be released on what would be his 45th birthday.
All Eyez On Me Album
The film takes its name from what many believe to be 2Pac’s magnum opus. Released after his time locked up, 2Pac was bound to Death Row Records as Suge Knight had posted his $1.4 million bail. In return Pac had agreed to release three albums through Death Row. This album saw him at his lyrical and honest best.
All Eyez On Me Clip Released
With the film set to be released on June 16, 2017 the date is fast approaching that you can catch the film in cinemas. In preparation for its launch a clip has been released to Billboard that shows the moment that Suge Knight comes and tries to sign Tupac Shakur to his Death Row Records label.
This shows the moment that Knight approached 2Pac to join his infant record label. Offering the $1.4 million bail if Shakur signed with him. Having posted bail, Shakur became Knight’s most marketable star, releasing his album All Eyez On Me later that year.
All Eyez On Me Movie Reviews
The first reviews are coming in for the 2Pac biopic, and they are… mixed at best. IMDB give the film a 6.8 rating, while Rotten Tomatoes scored it a fairly rotten 24%. IGN were fairly positive about the film, scoring it 7/10 and called it good, suggesting it may be one for the fans than newcomers to Pac’s life and work. Pretty well all the reviews lay into the opening that is referred in more than review to being “like a Wikipedia entry”. This criticism stems from the way the film opens with a fairly basic linear narrative of formative events from Tupac’s upbringing. This exposition is framed as an interview during Shakur’s incarceration.
The film picks up pace afterwards. But that does not spare the film the wrath of the New York Times who in no uncertain terms call the film uninspiring. The only positive the NYT takes from the film is 2Pac himself, and Demetrius Shipp Jr. who plays him. Quite broadly the reviewers have suggested the film excuses the actions of Shakur, particularly in the sexual abuse case for which he is incarcerated. Tupac, lest we forget, was no saint. But this film is not alone in hip hop biopics to airbrush the past, let’s not forget Dr Dre’s assault of Dee Barnes that barely got a mention in 2015’s NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton.
All Eyez On Me is released to movie theaters on June 16 2017