Review by Steve Rhodes|
1½ stars out of 4
Lauren Lazin's one-sided documentary, TUPAC: RESURRECTION, about murdered
rapper Tupac Shakur, is one of the most shoddily-made documentaries in some
time, with many scenes looking like fifth generation copies of bad
videotapes and old photos. Even the clouds, which we cut to frequently,
look like they come from a copy of a bad home movie. Only the shots of the
Las Vegas neon glitter come close to the production values normally
associated with a motion picture. The movie bears a superficial resemblance
to another vanity piece, THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE, but the production
values in that mesmerizing movie were dramatically higher.
Ignoring how bad it looks, what does it say? The overly reverential film,
told almost exclusively through archival recordings of interviews with
Tupac, tries to show him as a sweet guy. The film's imagery suggests that
he was something of a god-like figure, offering us images of Christ on the
cross. The movie is filled with cheap shots against his many critics.
A man arrested about a dozen times for crimes ranging from jaywalking to
shooting people to gang rape, Tupac spent time in jail and in prison. He
claims to be innocent of his crimes and throws all of the blame for them on
"the system." At one point, he describes his philosophy as, "I am a thug,
and I rap about the oppressed fighting back." When confronted with his
crimes and actions, his response is, "I don't gotta be a role model."
Between his songs that say otherwise, he tells us how much he loves and
The relatively mundane movie is chock full of little details about his life.
He tells us that he lived here and then he lived there and that his father
was in prison here. He says that he is especially proud of his mother's
having been a Black Panther.
The film is for Tupac's dyed-in-the-wool fans only. And even they may be
quite disappointed and downright bored as there is little singing but lots
of mindless gabbing.
TUPAC: RESURRECTION runs a long 1:45. The film is rated R for "strong
language and images of drugs, violence and sex" and would be acceptable for
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes