Last week Straight Outta Compton finally arrived in theatres and I must say it has made its mark, as the film shot straight to number one in the UK box office charts. The biopic debuted the charts with £2.4 million to claim the number one spot from Inside Out which only took £1.2 million in its opening weekend (Hegarty.T, Digital Spy, 2015).
The film details the rise, fall and ill-fated reunion attempt, of the american hip hop group N.W.A (N****z With Attitude). They took the music industry by storm in the late 1980s, with their distinctive style and controversial lyrics. Director Felix Gary Gray (Friday,Law Abiding Citizen, The Italian Job) did a remarkable job with this biographical motion picture as it was both entertaining and educational to watch. The 5 individuals – Eazy-E,Dr Dre,MC Ren,Ice Cube and DJ Yella – that would form the group, had no idea the amount of success they would garner just by putting their skills and talent together. However, fame and sucess is not always what it seems, and it isn’t long until friendships are broken and loyalty is misguided.
Besides the brilliant storyline, the casting couldn’t have been any better. Where do I even begin? The simple fact that O’Shea Jackson Jnr was cast to play Ice Cube was casting brilliance, and quite simply a no brainer. Apart from their resemblance (which shouldn’t come as a surprise as Ice Cube is his father) he did a great job depicting his father’s role within the group.
Whilst we are on this subject I feel it would be rude of me not to point out Jason Mitchell’s performance as Eric ‘Eazy-E’ Wright -he absolutely nailed it! From the jheri curl, raiders gear and thick gold chain to the high pitched rap voice. Mitchell did a fine job to really give us a glimpse into the life and death of the late rapper. This movie should surely put the relatively unknown actor on the map and on the road to secure more prominent roles.
It is safe to say that we have now established how fantastic I feel this film is, but in every analysis you have to look at both sides of the coin. The film did well to cover significant events within the group’s reign in the late 1980s to mid 1990s , but there was little and hardly any positive representation of women. They were portrayed as submissive entities who were either groupies or baby mothers in constant pursuit of male attention. The story suggests that the group reached a high level of success and popularity based on the efforts of men.
Nevertheless it would be silly not to find time and experience cinematic brilliance at its finest. The film is out across all UK theatres, so book your ticket whilst you can.