You need non-violent protest, you need a verbal weapon, so to speak
Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 biographical drama that captures the rise and the inevitable fall of the Compton, California rap group N.W.A. The film is titled after their first album’s title track Straight Outta Compton. Straight Outta Compton was directed by F. Gary Gray and stars Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, O'Shea Jackson, Jr. as Ice Cube (Ice Cube’s biological son), Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, and Paul Giamatti as N.W.A's manager Jerry Heller. The film's producers are Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E's widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, MC Ren and DJ Yella as creative consultants.
The film was released worldwide on August 14, 2015. It received incredibly positive reviews from critics and made over $201 million. The film also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
The film opens in 1986, when Eric "Eazy-E" Wright, a drug dealer, escapes a police raid. Eazy-E meets Lorenzo "MC Ren" Patterson and Andre "Dr. Dre" Young and Antoine "DJ Yella" Carraby, who are playing as the World Class Wreckin' Cru. Dre calls O'Shea "Ice Cube" Jackson to the stage to perform the song "Gangsta Gangsta".
The acting is fantastic, with the exception of Snoop Dog. You can clearly tell that Snoop Dog only lent his voice to the film. In saying this, the acting was stellar. Ice Cube’s biological son played Ice Cube which added an intensity that was hard to miss.
At one point, Dre leaves the club and gets arrested while innocently breaking up a fight. He gets bailed him out the next day which initiates a conversation about starting up a record label. They then release the chart breaking single, "Boyz-n-the-Hood". This fight for life attitude is truly moving.
The film then carries on with a lot of label swapping and manager drama and this is accentuated with the low angle camera angles. These low angles and street perspectives add a sense of drama and reality all at once.
The result of the manager and record label tension causes N.W.A. to split up. And at the end of the day each of the rappers find their own path and successes in their own right. But among the successes is deception that chips away at each of them.
After quite some time, Eazy-E reaches out and is successful in re-kindling N.W.A. During a re-kindled N.W.A. recording session Eazy-E collapses, is rushed to the hospital, and is then diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. This is an emotional and insightful part of the movie where you see old friends say goodbye and reflect on their experiences together. The acting and cinematography bring these emotions to the forefront.
The film wraps up with the success of the two living members of N.W.A. Ice Cube still records and acts and has had a successful film and music career. Dre has had great success in producing many successful music careers, such as Snoop Dog, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, and 50 cent.
At the end of the film, Dre and Ice Cube pay tribute to Eazy-E but there is sad undertone for the toll that is taken on friendships.
Whether you are a rap fan or not, this film will not disappoint. The acting, the film work, and the story line are all top notch. And let’s face it, stories about true survivors are always worth a watch.