It’s a shame that a person as talented, complicated, and fascinating as Tupac Shakur is given such a by-the-numbers biopic. If you’re a fan, you won’t learn anything you didn’t know (and you’ll howl at some of the changes made to his life for dramatic reasons). If you’re new to him and his music, skip the movie and watch the bajillion interviews available on YouTube. Using standard flashbacks and framing devices, All Eyez begins as Shakur is doing time for a sexual abuse conviction. From there, we move back and forth from his childhood with his mother and stepfather (a fine, underused Jamie Hector), to his rise to fame, to his death in Las Vegas. Demetrius Shipp Jr. is good as Shakur (though he could have amped up the intensity in a few spots), but Benny Boom’s slack direction makes one wish for Anton Fuqua, John Singleton or Carl Franklin, who were all associated with the film at one time or another. The screenplay is too skimpy on the nitty gritty, but the movie still runs 140 minutes. In an effort to make an appealing movie, the filmmakers made Shakur boring, and he was anything but that.
Director: Benny Boom
Producer: David Robinson, L.T. Hutton, James Robinson and Wayne Morris
Cast: Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham, Dominic Santana, Jamal Woolard, Jarrett Ellis, Harold Moore, Lauren Cohan, Hill Harper, Annie Ilonzeh, Chris Clarke, Grace Gibson, Cory Hardrict, Keith Robinson and Jamie Hector