Out Now On-Demand
Biopic of the late, great Notorious B.I.G.. The actor with b.i.g. shoes to fill is Jamal Woolard, a fellow MC from Biggie's hometown of Brooklyn where the majority of the film will be set. A whole host of other hip hop celebrities are being portrayed throughout the story - P. Diddy, Lil Kim, Suge Knight and Tupac amongst them - that charts Biggie's rise out of the ghetto and into the big time before being shot dead in Los Angeles, 1997, at the peak of his fame.
Training Day's Antoine Fuqua was set to direct but pulled out at the last minute, so duties went to George Tillman who's last film was 2000's Men of Honour. Sean "Diddy" Combs is one of the producers.
Rating: R16 contains violence, offensive language, drug use & sex scenes
There’s a line in the movie where Tupac tells Biggie that the best times are on your way up, after that there’s nowhere to go but down. That piece of advice is also a pretty accurate summation of the film's strengths and weaknesses.
Focusing on Biggie’s rise from street kid to rapping icon, it brings plenty to the table. It gives equal time to his talents and flaws, injects the story with the atmosphere of New York’s urban milieu and uses hip hop music video techniques in interesting ways. On top of these expected but well executed elements, it displays a self-depreciating sense of humour - it doesn’t take its hero or the world he lives in too seriously. Jamal Woolard as Biggie is a great casting choice for the lead, too.
Things change though with the more dramatic segments near the film’s ending. As the jokes disappear, the story tries to forgive Biggie’s wrongdoings and pushes him closer towards martyrdom. This would work if the film tried to delve past the already established information of his death, but instead it is happy to recycle a superficial account of his last days that the audience probably already knows.
In spite of this, it’s a better hip hop biopic then Eminem or 50 Cent’s efforts, and an enjoyable piece of popcorn entertainment.
Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
NZ Herald (Joanna Hunkin)
Total Film [UK]
TV3 (Daniel Rutledge)
who would of thought that a movie like this would come of as a masterpiece it tells a story about one of the best rappers in the world and how he went from nothing to the king.with the support of diddy and faith nd also lil kim he made them what they are today and its a movie that everyone should go watch may you rest in piece forever.BIGGIE
I went along to see this movie with low expectations, as its not my typical genre of music. Really pleasant surprise is that its a film for all people, not just Notorious fans. Watching at Sky City Manukau with the music on the big cinema speakers you cannot help but tap along in your seats to the tunes.
All in all though its an extraordinary and uplifting tale and also great portrayal of the whole EAST COAST WEST COAST differences in the US.
i knew biggy. he got me pregnant now he be dead. where my money fool? mmhmmm...slice me a peice of that chocolatew cake and slap it hard against my pikachu. The movies alright but it ain't nothing to the sweet love and sex biggy gave to me.