Straight Outta Compton follows the journey of Eazy E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre as the build the empire that was the N.W.A. The rise and fall of one of the most influential groups in Hip Hop. An idea born from Dr. Dre is built upon thanks to the funding of Eazy E. They became one of the biggest and most iconic artists of all time. The police and American government fought to censor them, but they fought back for their neighborhood and for the streets to be built up. They were the first to bring their real life experiences that they witnessed and lived through to modern music. The style, the attitude and mixture of personalities set them up to be remembered forever.
Everything about this film is fun, and deep and, in my opinion, relatable. The timing of Straight Outta Compton couldn’t be more perfect. In our time where we are dealing with backlash toward the police forces due to excessive force, The NWA lived through a time where it was so much worse. They were treated as gang bangers and thugs, when all they wanted was to spread their voices through a true art form. The Film follows the problems they incurred. Inside and outside of the group. Money issues, hatred from the police, jealousy of each other.
The Casting was on par. There are times in this film, when you are watching Ice Cube do his thing on stage, or in certain iconic scenes, that you don’t really know if this is stock footage of Ice Cube, or is this his son? They look so much alike, and Jackson was able to channel his father perfectly. He has that signature Ice Cube glare down to a T. Watching Corey Hawkins play Dr. Dre, at first I wasn’t on board. Mostly because I saw Ice Cube in Jackson, however I couldn’t see Dre in Hawkins. But as the movie got going, Hawkins disappears and Dr. Dre is on screen. He brought together every aspect I know of Dre. And Jason Mitchell brought Eazy back to life. He puts on an incredible performance, especially a pretty pivotal scene in the third act. Paul Giamatti, like the pro he is, shows us why he is the superstar we know and love, and not Rhino.
The Script was not perfect, but it was extremely well done. The Story is pretty spot on from what I knew from N.W.A. from the birth of Ruthless Records, to the Rise of Death Row. From Eazy E the Dope Dealer, to one of the most influential rappers of our time. You see why Dre is the Dr. of hip hop. The story really helps you sink back into this world. The chemistry between the cast, you feel for them, and hurt when they hurt. You believe these guys are the brothers that N.W.A. was. And you sympathize with both sides as the splits become apparent.
The Music. A+. Now I might be bias, because I love this period of music. It’s still all I listen to today. But knowing that these guys all got together and completely rerecorded the masterpiece Straight Outta Compton album is incredible. They didn’t just dub the music over; they completely bring these hits back. The scenes in concerts, you feel the energy, like you were there in Detroit when N.W.A. was arrested for their iconic song.
Filming was beautiful. Every scene, no shot is spared. There is no moment that is wasted. The weight of every situation is shot and framed perfectly. The score, aside from the actual music of the group, sucks you in and brightens every scene.
No film not named The Godfather or The Empire Strikes back is perfect. And this one is no exception. It has its issues. Not many. But a few. There is a big lack of female characters in this film. Which I understand due to the nature of the group. But all of these rappers where married. And they wives are portrayed in the film, but as very minor characters. I would’ve liked to know a little more about them.
If you know the story of N.W.A. you know these guys were not the best guys. They fought for their neighborhood, and for freedom of speech, but they weren’t always angels. I was particularly excited to see how they handled Dre and the interview with Dee Barnes due to the beef and split between N.W.A. and Ice Cube. They completely glossed over it. There was a small throwaway line about assault charges, and nothing ever shown. The only person portrayed as the monstrous thug he was, is Suge Knight.
The third act begins and kind of wraps itself up a little too quickly, but that’s really because I would’ve loved this movie to go on. Tupac and Snoop both show up as minor characters, and I wanted more of them. But honestly, that, and most of my negatives are very nitpicky. This film has these minor problems, but it is incredible.
So that is Straight Outta Compton. An incredible film, that tells the true and amazing story of one the most influential rap groups that include some of the greatest and most iconic artist of our generation. Artist that have gone on to create and influence hip hop in all sorts of aspects of life. Giving it a score of 4.2, plus a full .5 bonus for the Music and O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube. Giving Straihgt Outta Compton a Jeebus score of 4.7. So Jackass Nation have you seen Straight Outta Compton Yet? Are you excited for it? What is your favorite N.W.A. song? Sound off in the comments below, and as always, keep on nerding.
The Jeebus Score explained
The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.