All Eyez on Me
Out Now On-Demand
Legends never die.
Biopic on Tupac Shakur, played by newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. The film follows Shakur from his early days in New York City to his evolution into being one of the world's most recognised and influential musical voices before his untimely death.
- Benny Boom('Next Day Air', 'S.W.A.T.: Firefight')
Drama, Music, True Story & Biography
Rating: R16 Violence, offensive language, drug use & sexual material
All Eyez On Me is hobbled from the start by a clunky framing device. Tupac Shakur gives an interview to a documentary crew during his 1995 prison stay, and we episodically flash back to his life as he goes from a kid in Compton to a star in LA. It’s a corny approach, saddled with rags-to-riches clichés and the aesthetic of a TV movie.
Tupac was one of the greatest rappers of all time, and in the right hands his life could make for a compelling story. The son of two Black Panthers, he was perpetually outraged at the injustices suffered by black America. The film wisely hones in on this, and on his belief that he could be a positive force for change.
But it never feels inspirational. At two hours and twenty minutes it’s a real slog, a dizzying rise to fame recreated as a dull ordeal. And the way the film handles the allegations that landed Tupac in jail is completely disastrous.
Demetrius Shipp Jr is relatively charismatic in the lead role, and Danai Gurira does fine work as his mother. But the movie reduces other real-life figures into caricatures. Suge Knight is a cigar-chomping villain, Jada Pinkett is Tupac’s moral compass, Snoop Dogg smokes weed.
The prison interview is available to watch online, and although it’s just a man talking, it’s infinitely more interesting than All Eyez On Me. Despite good intentions, the movie fails to capture what made the man so compelling.
Sydney Morning Herald
Herald Sun (Australia)
The Age (Australia)
New York Times
All Eyez Someplace Else
“Legends never die” goes the tagline for Tupac Shakur biopic, ALL EYEZ ON ME, but oh, do legends sometimes get shite movies.
As Tupac, Demetrius Shipp Jr. is great, and will certainly be an actor to watch, but sadly just not in this misguided and dull affair. Bookended by an interview set-up, we follow Shakur from his early days, his rise as one of the greatest rappers, to his death, at just 25-years-young.
Political, but packing no punch. Social commentary, without insight. Biopic of a fascinating and brilliant artist, portrayed in a dull, drab drag.
Yup, ALL EYEZ ON ME is a disappointment and then some. Compared to the likes of STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, it comes straight outta the made for daytime TV-movie factory. And we’re talking Hallmark Channel here, not HBO.
The pace plods. The direction, by Benny Boom, had me thinking about leaving the “m” off his surname. The best thing about this car wreck is it’ll inspire a true fan to make a damn fine biopic about Tupac one day, to wipe the sour memory of this away.
Whilst the lead actor, and Dana Gurira (as Tupac’s mum), hold their own, the surrounding cast are left drowning in a mediocre script, portraying them as caricatures rather than people.
As for the audience? It’s more a matter of all eyez on your mobile device clock than on the screen.