Last weekend being a bank holiday weekend, had me out enjoying life with a couple of mates before a week of night shifts hence my silence of late. Instead of running down our trail of destruction, pillage and debauchery like I usually would, this time I’ll be reviewing two of the pastimes of the weekend that polarised my opinions.
The first was watching Straight Outta Compton, I had high hopes for this biopic of ‘the world’s most dangerous group’ which were sadly dashed fairly early on. For those not familiar with N.W.A., they were an immensely talented group around from 86-91 who revolutionised Hip-Hop with visceral social commentary as well as some interesting moral values, or lack there of. Their notoriety stemming from their standing up to an institutionally racist police force and giving a platform to how life was on their streets of Compton.
The film’s running time is two and a half hours so I accept things have to move quickly but the Genesis of the band and the subsequent successes and seemingly meteoric rise to fame felt like they were achieved with no real struggles or setbacks apart from the odd run in with the police, which felt pretty unrealistic. With such a speedy introduction the protagonist’s histories weren’t given much of a look in and there was little sense of fleshing out as a result.
The gigs are wonderful though, there is a feeling of the energy which their stage presence undoubtedly generated coupled with the obvious talent and ability they had. This coming out of adversity and driving anger, telling it how it is in a raw way is very well done and having listened to the albums for a number of years, there are some mighty catchy tracks from these lyrical poets.
It was a waiting game for it all to go wrong but that just wasn’t balanced with much in the way of underlying tension, the greed and creative differences just sort of pop up in sequence as it were, rather than being in the background brooding and slow burning before the inevitable clashes. The main problem of the film for me though is how awkward it feels in certain parts, where instead of using subtlety chooses to stick a massive great signpost into a foundation of clunky dialogue because as an audience we are obviously too unintelligent to understand the nuances what it happening. Read the rest of this entry »