#REVIEW: “ALL EYEZ ON ME”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
His story is one of legend. He was named after a rebel, raised by a revolutionary, and grew into an artist of merit by the age of 19. By the age of 22 he was an enemy of the state, and sentenced to serve time in a maximum security prison. It’s here that the Film All Eyez on Me begins. Helmed by the talented Benny Boom, the Picture opens with audio of an interview in prison. Tupac tells the tale of his birth when asked about his mother, and a scene from her troubled pregnancy unfolds.
Afeni was the foundation for who Tupac would become. She is played brilliantly by Danai Gurira of Walking Dead fame. Like Afeni, she appears as the only force in the Film able to influence, comfort, and understand Tupac… the only one other than Jada that is. For those not aware, Jada Pinkett Smith is one Tupac’s oldest and dearest friends. Kat Graham does an excellent job not only bringing Jada’s charm to the screen, she also has her looks. Making this the perfect point to discuss Demetrius Shipp’s uncanny resemblance to Tupac. He really does look like him, and acts like him as well, which is demanding considering the complexity of the character. Helping make this Film believable, beautiful, and packed with artistry that should not go unnoticed.
One of the most appealing aspects of the Movie is its Docudrama format. Instead of following a narrative thread, the Film follows the major events in Tupac’s life, like a documentary. In fact, Boom cleverly employs music videos and news clippings to cut between scenes and fill in the gaps. In addition, the Soundtrack is filled with songs from Pac’s contemporaries and friends. These details work to paint the picture of Tupac’s legacy. And although many will call it an apologist’s take on a criminal’s life, those who adore the icon will be pleased with this portrayal. It’s been a long time in the making, but it was without question worth the wait.
VVS Films release ALL EYEZ ON ME Friday, June 16, 2017.