Tuesday, November 10, 2015

MINI-REVIEW: Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton

O'Shea Jackson Jr.,
Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell


August 14, 2015

F. Gary Gray

Universal Pictures

2 hours 27 minutes



Musical biopics are something of a common trend now.  There are memorable ones, like "Walk the Line," and more forgettable ones, like "Get on Up."  It seemed almost inevitable that a musical biopic about N.W.A. would come our way, especially since Ice Cube and Dr. Dre have been talking about making this for a while.  Well now, we have it, and it's appropriately given the title "Straight Outta Compton."  For those who don't know, the group N.W.A. was famously made up of the lyrics of Ice Cube, the production of Dr. Dre, and the rapping swagger of Eazy-E.  These three men made headlines throughout their careers together, causing much controversy in the government just as much as on the streets.  Their mission was to tell it as it was, and songs like "Straight Outta Compton" and "F*** The Police" surprisingly still hold up to this day, especially considering the recent events to have happened in this country.  While one might expect that the film would have ended the moment N.W.A. broke up, director F. Gary. Gray decided to keep the story going.  While that makes the film nearly 2 and a half hours long, it continues the story that manages to stay fascinating and bittersweet come the film's conclusion, depending on how you see it.

The three leads playing Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, and Jason Mitchell are all pretty damn great in the movie.  Each one adds a sense of depth and reliability to their characters and make them all very engaging to watch.  The style of the movie itself is gritty and realistic, giving the audience a rough "slice of life" and showing that the late 80s and early 90s though the culture has changed, are shockingly similar to things that happen today.  F. Gary Gray was something of an ideal choice to direct this, as his visual flare and his previous experience with Ice Cube help him tell a great story altogether.  The film as a whole drags at times, and there are certain elements that could have been cut out, but as a whole "Straight Outta Compton" is a strong, gritty, and entertaining look into the cause, effect, and aftermath of one of the most controversial musical groups in history.


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