Biggie And Tupac Movie Review
The mystery that shrouds the unsolved murders of two of hip-hop's biggest stars will serve as fuel for conspiracy theorists and rap fans alike for years to come. Biggie and Tupac is a documentary that examines the killings, the evidence, and those most intimate with the stars under the lens of filmmaker Nick Broomfield. (Broomfield is most renowned for the controversial Kurt & Courtney, in which he alleged that Courtney Love conspired to murder her husband Kurt Cobain, former lead singer of the grunge band Nirvana.)
In Biggie and Tupac, Broomfield, true to his style, once again makes a poignant statement that is both outrageous and upsetting. He asserts that Death Row Records founder Suge Knight conspired in tandem with LAPD officers on the company payroll to commit both murders. Broomfield then delivers a myriad of evidence purporting that afterwards there was a large-scale cover-up and that the official conclusion from the LAPD that both killings were the result of a supposed gang related East Coast versus West Coast rivalry is a farce.
In order to overcome such a whopper of a presupposition, Broomfield adds a touch of humor to lighten the mood of the film. From witty jabs at obstinate lawyers unwilling to permit interviews for their clients, to the mispronunciation of names with his thick British accent, he effectively takes the angle of an ignorant foreigner in order to garner information from other rappers and former cops who otherwise may not have divulged anything. P. Diddy is victimized throughout, frequently referred to as, "Sean Poooofy Cooooombs." When Suge Knight is seen slowly strutting through the prison rec center, cane in hand, while smoking a cigar, Broomfield notes, "He seems to have hurt his leg."
To its detriment, Biggie and Tupac rehashes a lot of footage already seen on Behind the Music and its ilk. One recycled clip shows Tupac in the recording studio convincing several other rappers to cut their tracks faster adding, "The first few lines will be the title, throw in a hook, and boom, you got a record." This scene has been repeated in several other shows to imply that Shakur somehow knew he was running on borrowed time. Other frequently seen clips include an interview with Biggie talking about how he can't believe Tupac was dead and that the whole East versus West rivalry as glamorized by the media.
With all the MTV and VH1 hype already in the public domain, Broomfield's piece at times appears stale, as if the movie is coming out two years too late. In spite of its regurgitated footage, the film deserves to be appreciated for its courageous statement that challenges authority, points fingers, and names names. If you're a fan of Biggie and Tupac, or just a conspiracy theory buff, then the movie will definitely spark some emotion in you... because the real truth may never be revealed.
Broomfield's DVD commentary is pretty sleepy, more discussion about how tough it was to film with cops surrounding the crew and how many people wouldn't talk to him. I didn't listen to the whole thing, but I didn't get an inkling that he spoke about the recent revelations into the case, which I'm sure you can dig up via Google if you're that interested.