Film Review: Straight Outta Compton

PosterStraight Outta Compton, the biopic film about american rap group N.W.A, titled after one of their most recognizable tracks. With the legacy of the group being ever present with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube being household names, the two rappers produce this biopic depicting how they managed to break free from the clutches of one of the most violent areas for gang crime in the entire world, and become global superstars.

Boyz n the Hood director John Singleton was reported to be taking the helm of this film but surprisingly the directors chair was given to F. Gary Gary who worked with Ice Cube on Friday (1995) and Set It Off (1996). This decision to bring in Gary Gary proved the film lacks risk; whilst Singleton could have given the film a definitive edge, Gary Gary’s work seems to meander along, although stylish at times, very slowly.

Although the film covers a lot of N.W.A’s ground and their roots, as well as their fight against police brutality, it barely scrapes the surface of everything that was happening around them in reality. Suge Knight is involved in the second half of Compton but very rarely does the film focus on the battle of the East coast and the West coast that was monumental in America’s hip hop scene at the time.

With all of its flaws, our protagonists still shine in the roles of Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell) and Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr, the son of Ice Cube), and find a way to entertain and bring emotion to the film.

Although the film itself feels far too long, focusing on unnecessary plot points, it proves to be quite entertaining, especially during the concert scenes with a soundtrack that still holds up even today.

Straight Outta Compton is an average film at best with its soundtrack, performances and occasional stylish cinematography pulling the viewer through, but adds nothing new to the biopic genre and overlooks several historical events in its timeline throughout the careers of these hip hop legends.

What did you think of Straight Outta Compton?

Comment with your thoughts.

Ryan Keen


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