The world’s most dangerous group makes for the summers most interesting story. Just after the worst film of the year came out to give me something to critically eviscerate, Ice Cube and Dr Dre have told their story in the most engaging and emotional film of the year, and showed the power that a movie can have when the story is told with a thorough narrative.
In the late 1980’s, Dr Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren, Arabian Prince and DJ Yella came together to give a voice to the people of Compton, combining brutally honest lyrics with strongly produced tracks. Straight Outta Compton chronicles their rise to fame as they contend with opposition such as law enforcement, protest groups, and their own vanity.
The portrait painted of these mens lives is full of depth and heart. We first find them in an environment where they are judged by their appearance and struggle to make ends meet. The hard truth makes for ompelling storytelling as they create their own way out. The tight bond between the members of the group and the truthfulness with it’s portrayal makes it all the more heartbreaking when egos get in the way. There are devastating moments, points of pride, and everything in between, and the gripping power of the cast really sell this film. It never lets you go.
Corey Hawkins plays Dr. Dre with a sense of self discovery that allows him to convincingly journey from the young dreamer with a turntable into the millionaire entrepreneur that we all know today. He strongly encapsulates the most grounded member of the group and takes him to his lows and highs which allows for a raw performance.
Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E has the big personality and the tension that powers the story. He is not one to admit fault, and it creates a rift through the group. He also goes through a full transformation in which we see his full emotional spectrum.
I was worried about the casting of O’Shea Jackson, Jr as his father Ice Cube. I’ve seen nepotism in casting before, and it was just plain After Earth awful. But after seeing this movie, i’m convinced that no one else could possibly have done this part justice. He has the attitude we’ve come to know, and the spirit of the lyrical poet that won’t censor himself. He’s nailed it. And I would love to see him work with his father in the future.
Straight Outta Compton is the 2nd best film of the year. (After Mad Max: Fury Road). It’s powerful, strongly acted, incredibly shot, and tells a heartfelt story. Check it out.