Review: ‘All Eyez On Me’ Lacks The Heart Of Tupac Shakur
“All Eyez On Me” is now available on digital, Blu-ray, and On-Demand!
“All Eyez On Me” tells the story of the life of the late Tupac Shakur. From his early days before fame to his unfortunate demise, this film focuses on the highlights of Tupac’s life.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 2
A well executed biopic about a musician takes a lot of finesse. Character development is vital in portraying the subject as the iconic figure fans know, as well as establishing a level of depth so that audiences can relate. “All Eyez On Me” falls short on these key areas focusing on more well-known highlights of Tupac rather than creating a well-rounded individual.
Demetrius Shipp Jr. resembles Tupac but a bit too much making the performance seem more like an impression than a portrayal. He has the look, the mannerisms, and even the vocal cadence of Tupac but it feels systematic rather than organic. With “All Eyez On Me” being a biographical representation of a pivotal artist, the performance is vital and probably the most important aspect of this movie. It’s unfortunate that Demetrius Shipp Jr. fails to live up to expectations.
The story is another significant aspect of this film and while there are some intriguing moments, it lacks fluidity. Executed in a piecemeal fashion, there are a variety of subplots that while connected make the overall plot feel disjointed. I wanted to see more of Tupac’s struggles and relatable experiences rather than focusing just on things I knew.
While this film is independent of other films depicting artists from the Death Row label, it’s difficult not to compare this John Singleton film to the superior F. Gary Gray film “Straight Outta Compton.” “All Eyez On Me” lacks heart and feels more like a Lifetime channel biopic than a theater release.
Entertainment Value – 2.5
As a longtime fan of 2Pac I did enjoy the expansion of milestone moments in his life. It was selective, simple joy but nonetheless it was enjoyable during some moments.
With that said it was easy to disengage from this film based on its layout. It attempts to cover every significant moment of Tupac’s life more like a sampler platter than a main course. As each moment reached closure there was an opportunity to lose interest. There was little to no authenticity as many of the stories attempted to redeem Tupac from a biased perspective rather than an objective one. For example, the rape allegations painted the victim as a blatant gold digger mockingly smiling at Tupac in court. This is not to say that Tupac was guilty or innocent, but it’s easy to see the intent of redemption which was a distraction.
I did find myself entertained by many moments but in the end it the experience was not a fulfilling one.
Re-Watchability – 1.5
This is not an experience that I would want to relive. I did not feel like I gained any further perspective nor insight into Tupac’s life. A book or documentary would be far more fulfilling experience and I would rather spend my time investing in those sources.
- Entertainment Value
"All Eyez On Me" focuses on the better known, milestone moments in Tupac Shakur's life. While the real life moments were a source for controversy, this film relegates them to simplified theatricality. This would have been better served as a Lifetime movie based on its quality.
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