“Straight Outta Compton” Movie Review

KATIE PICKRELL

After seeing advertisements everywhere, I finally went to see “Straight Outta Compton.” Even with all of the hype around the it, I was surprised to be so massively impressed by the film.

The epic storyline follows the N.W.A and other Compton hip-hop stars on their rise to fame. Despite the somewhat obvious plot, the movie proved to go a lot deeper than the triumphs of idols like Eazy-E and Dr. Dre. The themes of family, loyalty, racism and brutality just skim the surface of what was showcased by the plot.

The history behind the city of Compton truly came out throughout the movie. Many people brush Compton under the rug as a town of drug-dealers and murderers, which, although it may not be incorrect, massively disregards the struggles the residents of the city faced during the N.W.A’s time faced. The movie showcased how corrupt the Los Angeles Police Department truly was and even accounted for historical events such as the L.A. riots in the 90s.

Even still today, though it’s not as bad, the continuation of an unstable environment is observable. For one, the news is filled with stories of eery similarity to the ones that were told years ago. That being said, this film was historically accurate and educating. Presently, it serves as a look at what still hasn’t been fixed from years past.

It’s easy to explain how the film goes considering everyone with a basic understanding of gangster rap knows how the story ends. To elongate the storyline, the movie was broken down into three discernable parts.

The start of the movie shows the beginnings of N.W.A– the original trio composed of Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Dr Dre (Corey Hawkins) and Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr., who did a pretty impressive impression of his father throughout the film). With the help of DJ Yella and MC Ren, N.W.A comes out unexpectedly into the spotlight of the music scene, creating a new culture in the mainstream that accounts for gangster rap.

As it goes, N.W.A eventually breaks apart as E lets the money and the fame get to his head. Cube splits off first and Dre follows soon after. Back and forth, the rappers throw shade at each other through undermining lyrics and testy actions.

Once the musicians seem to level out their heads and their emotions, they plan on coming back together to finish what they started. E’s untimely death ruins that plan, and the trio never revamps their style of music.

Though E’s death may have been the end to the movie, it wasn’t the end to the story. In what everyone knows of Dre and Cube’s success, the ending was sort of bittersweet.

Story and message aside, the film’s soundtrack was obviously amazing to anyone who’s into 80s and 90s rap, and anyone who doesn’t probably wouldn’t show up to this movie.  

The film’s director, F. Gary Gray, and cinematographer, Matthew Libatique, mesh the music with the action from the start to the end. Scenes that would have been powerful standing on their own and music that holds meaning without any visual representation were brought together to make what was honestly a masterpiece.

“Straight Outta Compton” might have been one of the last great movies of this summer. The artistry behind the film earned it a solid five stars. Currently, I’d recommend seeing this film over any other that’s playing. It may be long, but the story told never runs out of steam to keep the film rolling and the audience watching.

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