I felt bad for Tupac’s legacy after watching ‘All Eyez on Me’

Let me first tell you that I am a huge Tupac fan. I am a fan that owns all his albums. I am a fan who researched and downloaded all his original recordings (which would later be put into his posthumous releases). I also have two posters of him in my childhood room. I have seen all his movies. I am a huge fan.

With that said, I came into “All Eyez on Me” with the knowledge of the critics’ less than enthusiastic reviews of the film. Jada Pinkett-Smith and 50 Cent have expressed their dislike of the movie as well. I was hopeful that maybe my perception wouldn’t be swayed. But it was. And when I watched the film, I was disappointed.

Overall the movie was decent for the casual fan who may not know his story. But still, the struggle to fit in 25 years of his life into a film is hard. Rather than focus on a part of his life, we got a directionless film that went all over the place. We struggled to identify with the character and that unfortunately led to the anti-climactic end which really didn’t give much to the enigmatic rap star.

There were so many issues with the movie that it was difficult to identify with Tupac. At the end of the movie, it didn’t seem like we could identify with him. Most movies will make out the main character as someone we like or could cheer for. But for this movie, Pac never got that treatment. He was not made to feel as big as he should have been. He was made to feel like a footnote in the history of rap.

Tupac is complex and it showed in this film. But it didn’t make him seem like he fully had a grip on anything. It just felt that the film would focus on little bits and pieces of his life and stitch them together. So much effort was focused on his life before he started rapping. That is fine but it wasn’t necessary to bring in his mom’s past as a Black Panther. At least it didn’t have to be told that way.

The film struggled to find the positives in Pac’s life. There were plenty of good things as well as bad things. But for a movie that was to tell his story, it had to paint a better picture. Compared to his rival’s movie in 2009, Pac’s death was a sudden unsatisfying ending. Whereas Biggie Smalls’ death brought hope. This film could have told a story of a man who envisioned a goal but instead showed us a man who was just floundering in pond.

Overall, this would not be something I would recommend for fans who want to get to know Tupac well (or for the first time). Big rap fans can easily attest that the story did cover a lot of things but didn’t tell the story well. In the end, it felt like I saw a movie of a man whom we all saw from the surface. A major film like this should go more deep into his soul.

Other thoughts:

  • Snoop, Dre, Suge… all those guys look awful. That’s some bad casting.
  • That Jada drama was dumb.
  • How come we don’t get more looks into his acting career. And why no mention of Poetic Justice?
  • What about the East vs West beef?
  • Also let’s focus more on Pac was a great lyricist. He had some really hardcore songs but also songs about good things. “Dear Mama” deserved more screen time.
  • What was with the penitentiary interview? Yes I know about those interviews but what’s the point of making that the main focus for two-thirds of the movie? It was lazy storytelling.
  • The movie did not help tell the impact of Tupac in the music world. It touched on it a little, but that’s barely it.
  • The flow of the film struggled so much. I would rather have seen them focus on “Me Against the World” as his beginning with sprinkles of his past. Let that be  the starting point.
  • Barely any real talk about the Outlawz. No talk of Thug Life the group.

I don’t know if we want to see another Tupac movie down the line. We saw Resurrection a long time ago and that was better in terms of storytelling. I think this new movie struggled in that aspect and thus hurt Pac’s image and legacy. We already knew his story and they missed on telling it right.

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