Cast: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham
Director: Benny Boom
Synopsis: Tells the true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur.
This weekend at the box office, on the day the great Tupac Shakur was born, June 16th, All Eyez on Me dropped and so did my mouth.
The movie was promoted as “the true and untold story” of Tupac and turned out more like the untrue story of Tupac. Romanticizing the relationship between Jada Pinkett and Tupac, made up parts of his jail stint, mimicking Tupac in ways he did not speak and how can a true story be told without the input of the people that truly knew him?
Before evening came, rapper 50 Cent and Jada Pinkett took to social media to express their displeasure for the film. 50 Cent even put on Instagram “Man I watched the 2pac film, that was some bullshit” (I am not disagreeing).
Jada Pinkett shared on Facebook “my relationship to Pac is too precious to me for the scenes in All Eyez On Me to stand as truth” yet in a “true” story one of the main characters play her.
The film’s focus seems to have been more on someone that looks like Tupac and can mimic his voice rather than someone who represents him well. It seems like through the entire movie he is represented as he was perceived before people understood him or saw an interview of him.
In the movie, most of the lines the cast has are overly ebonic or exaggerated in a tone which I find insulting or to be based on stereotypes. The writers of the film do not have a long or impressive resume or connection to hip hop culture which is a bad start.
One of the original writers John Singleton dropped out and took to Instagram and expressed he felt the producers weren’t “respectful of his legacy.” I couldn’t agree more and it sure did show.
Plus why would I want to see a movie that the production company (Morgan Creek) tried to sue Afeni Shakur (who responded with a cross-complaint) for Tupac’s life rights to make the movie happen? She wanted a movie that would represent her son well and felt strongly about the story being told right. Obviously, if she didn’t work with the company she didn’t see them as a good fit. Nor do I.
Tupac was a legend, talented, had a brilliant mind, he cared about his community, and was damn near a philosopher and this was not represented well so it was a NO for me.
All Eyez On Me focused on everything else BUT retelling the story of hip-hop’s most influential icon.