All Eyez on Me
by George Wolf
After being woven through films such as Notorious and Straight Outta Compton, the life of Tupac Shakur finally gets its own treatment in All Eyez on Me, an earnest biopic ultimately too comprehensive for its own good.
Demetrius Shipp, Jr., boasting an uncanny resemblance in an electric screen debut, captures Tupac’s fire and swagger, while Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead, Mother of George) is ferociously compelling as Tupac’s mother (and former Black Panther) Afeni Shakur. Their scenes together consistently deliver the emotional heft lacking elsewhere.
Director Benny Boom, a veteran of music video and television projects, is committed but becomes waylaid with an unfocused meandering.
After a promising start fleshing out the drive and outrage that sprung from Shakur’s upbringing, Boom and his writing team get bogged down with a scope more dutiful than effective. In an effort to tell as much of Tupac’s story as possible, All Eyez on Me loses the chance to show us the depth that made him an icon.