Movie Review: Straight Outta Compton
By Kim Reynolds, Contributor
[Legendary Pictures; 2015]
Making $60,200,180 on its opening weekend, Straight Outta Compton has proven to be an incredibly successful and impactful film. The movie tells a story of power, love, money and the provocative art of hip hop and gangster rap. With that being said, so much of the film was incredible. The movie makes you feel like you want to get on stage with them or be in the audience at one of their shows. It was inspiring to watch these men grind and see the short-lived success as well as the demise and failures.
The film is holistic, and I believe that’s what makes it so impactful. It examines both the horrible race relations between communities of color and the police that existed in the early 1990s, which still exist today, as well as the danger and destruction of gangs and gang violence. I think this was my favorite aspect of the film because it kept the story very genuine and relatively fair.
In an interview with Dr. Dre, he talks about the emphasis on being authentic and his initial hesitation with creating the film in fear of blemishing N.W.A.’s legacy. But portraying the raw truth in the film mirrors exactly what the group did in their music.
The film is entrapping because of its relevancy. Audiences can greatly relate to this film because it is recent history and an accessible story. Watching Ice Cube write the script to Friday seems kind of incredible after watching his music career explode just 40 minutes prior.
With all the good of the film, there is extreme sexism in the movie, both on and off screen. I will say that is an aspect that was disappointing, both due to the objectification of women as accessories, but also accepting that some of those parties were accurately depicted with women.
Overall, the film is fantastic. It was well done in terms of casting, historical accuracy and respect and love for the late Eazy-E. The movie is touching, but also challenging in that it leaves audiences still feeling the sting of police brutality.
N.W.A. gave a voice to those who are and continued to be disempowered.