I saw the new Tupac Shakur movie “All Eyez on Me” twice — the first time because I wanted a better understanding of the late rapper/poet/actor, and the second time to catch points I may have missed during the first viewing.
I thought the movie was well acted and told, and it never dawned on me that it had been a tad bit long (roughly two hours and 20 minutes) until the movie had ended. It was just that engaging.
As for the critics, I think many just missed the point — and that was that Shakur, raised by a drug-addicted mother, had accomplished so much in his brief 25 years: 75 million albums sold worldwide as of 2007, 11 movies and numerous posthumous awards for his contributions to the world as a social activist, lyricist and musical wunderkind.
As thugged out as he appeared and could be, Shakur, who died Sept. 7, 1996, after suffering wounds in a drive-by shooting, was a deep, caring and prolific thinker who not only loved and respected his mother and sister, but women in general.
His rhythmic and often revolutionary-style rap lyrics never lost focus of the goal to educate his massive following toward injustice, apathy and hatred that marked this country (and the world) 20 years ago, and which continues to this day.
I’m not sure why Jada Pinkett Smith felt “hurt” over her depiction in movie, as it very tastefully shed light on the seemingly platonic relationship between her and Shakur.
Overall, the acting throughout was on point — and the two actors who portrayed Shakur and Pinkett Smith (Demetrius Shipp Jr., who has an eerie resemblance to Shakur, and Kat Graham) deserve praise for the amazing job they did, literally becoming the characters they portrayed, right before our eyes.
So what’s all the hateration about?
All “Eyez on Me” is a great movie, well worth the ticket cost, and sure to grab a new generation of fans who, along with Shakur’s current fan base, will appreciate every effort the iconic entertainer made standing up against unfair justice and inequitable socioeconomic systems, where he unflinchingly spoke his mind and gave a voice to the voiceless.