The rap group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.The rap group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.The rap group NWA emerges from the mean streets of Compton in Los Angeles, California, in the mid-1980s and revolutionizes Hip Hop culture with their music and tales about life in the hood.
- (as Lakeith Lee Stanfield)
- (as Cleavon McClendon III)
If nothing else, Straight Outta Compton is entertaining to say the least.
Straight Outta Compton tells the the story of the most influential group in hip-hop and rap, that group being N.W.A or as Eazy-E so gracefully puts it N****s With Attitudes. Directed by F. Gary Gray, Straight Outta Compton is, without a doubt, his best work behind the camera. However, by traditional standards, that isn't saying much. Gray is no stranger to N.W.A, Ice Cube or Dr. Dre having directed numerous music videos featuring their music. While the film is a very nice "fairy tale" telling of a story filled with tension, violence and rage, it lacks the balls to tell the actual story. Instead, the film picks and chooses what to tell and what to leave out, very strategically as well considering the film is two and a half hours plus. Starting with the streets of Compton, we are introduced to each character with a bang. Each of them getting their own introduction as if they were folk heroes or something, whether it is petty crime or writing rap lyrics, the film shows these characters with a sense of heroism to them no matter what they're doing. The best performance out of the group would have to be Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre. Hawkins delivers in every scene he's in, making it a true standout performance among actors that sometimes feel like they're in over their heads, more specifically Jason Mitchell, who plays Eazy-E. Mitchell feels more like a caricature of the late rapper rather than an actual actor portraying a real life counterpart. The film moves quickly enough and focuses long and hard on all of the partying, the women, the guns and the drugs, so much so that you start to wonder whether the film is a N.W.A music video tribute. Despite the falsehoods, the glorification and the shaky performances, Straight Outta Compton works well as an entertaining film. The only downside of this film is its haphazard statement on Police Brutality. While that is as prevalent as a topic can get for a film from 2015 about N.W.A, that was not the highlight of the group. The highlight of the group was the fight against the censors. A fight that they won, obviously. Despite that truth, the film wallows in trying to be a message about police brutality rather than a film about these men, their flaws and their triumphs, their ups and their downs. Unfortunately, it leaves us knowing nothing new about these people and at two and a half hours, we should leave this film knowing every little detail about them. Instead, we're left wanting more out of them. Overall, Straight Outta Compton ends up being an entertaining film about some of America's favorite rap artists instead of an important one.
- Aug 13, 2015
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