Take a Drink: for every reference that feels like an inside joke.
Do a Shot: for every cameo you catch.
Take a Drink: every time somebody is racially profiled.
And lastly pour one out from a 40 oz. for Eazy-E.
By: Movie Snurb (Two Beers) –
“Cruisin down the street in my 64.” Ever wonder how those lyrics came about? Well, if you’ve ever been curious about that and the origins of N.W.A. then this is the film for you. The film opens with the police busting up a drug deal with Eric Wright in the center of it and barely escaping. With opening on such a high note you’d think this film has nowhere to go but down. This film, however, never lets down. The film chronicles the rise of N.W.A., the relations between its members, and their solo careers. The film closes with the untimely death of Eric “Eazy-E” Wright. With the film opening and closing focused on Eazy it feels almost like tribute to him. Then in the credits you find its dedicated to him, which it should be. I’d have to say it was the perfect tribute to the late and great Eazy-E.
By far the best part about this film is its cast. Every young actor showcases some true talent. I’m glad O’Shea Jackson Jr. worked out because we could’ve had a Jaden Smith situation on our hands. That just gives me a headache to think about. However, his portrayal of his father was spot on. Sometimes you’ll be watching and forget you’re watching Ice Cube’s son. The film’s true revelation is Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E. He had Wright down to a tee all the way to Wright’s mannerisms. Mitchell was able to bring Eric Wright back to life for 2 hours and 30 minutes and gives a true gift to all of Eazy-E’s fans.
I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
With the help of this stellar cast, I haven’t had that much fun watching a film in the theaters this year. The film is able to mix in wit and comedy with drama without ever losing its identity. Many times a film will forget whether it’s a comedy or a drama and can go off the rails. Not this film; its true mission is telling the story of these five guys’ careers and I have to imagine their lives were as entertaining and comedic as they were troubled. The scenes in the beginning when they are working on the track “Boyz-N-The-Hood” are highly entertaining.
Another great thing about this film are all of the cameos and nods to future endeavors in their careers. Examples include Cube sitting at his laptop writing the line “You got knocked the fucked out!” and a woman getting thrown out of a hotel party with O’Shea Jackson Jr. delivering the line “Bye Felicia” as he closes the door. What makes them great is there are no big set ups for these lines- they are just passing moments, but fans of Friday will catch them and then the whole theater erupts in laughter. Also getting to see Snoop Dogg, Tupac, and Warren G is a trip.
Back from the dead!
I feel that the film has a few minor flaws, which don’t warrant multiple beers because they don’t destroy the whole film and its entertainment value. First is its length- at 147 minutes it’s surprisingly long for the film’s content. However, it doesn’t feel like you are waiting for the film to end when it comes to the final act. It also only goes surface deep regarding their careers. Some of their layers go deep, especially with Suge Knight. One instance in particular is when Dr. Dre gets into a high-speed chase with the police, but that’s it, it’s never mentioned again. However, when you think about the film’s runtime already landing at 147 minutes you can’t really add too much more. Also, it’s a lot to put in a film the covers almost 10 years.
The last problem I had was with Snoop Dogg. Keith Stanfield plays Snoop and quite well I might add. He’s a tremendous young talent shining in Short Term 12 and Dope but he’s only in two scenes of this film. I got excited when he came into frame but he didn’t end up being a huge player. I feel that he was underutilized. Again, as I mentioned before, I understand because his relationship with Dre is not the real focus of the film.
The minor problems this film has don’t take away from the overall entertainment and enjoyment you’ll get from this film. With its material of racial profiling and police brutality, Straight Outta Compton feels just a relevant now as it was 25 years ago. You definitely won’t regret going to see this film.