I would’ve preferred a documentary, but here it is; the story of NWA in Hollywood movie form. I was never a fan of the group, but two of its members, Dr Dre and Ice Cube, went on to become megastars in their own right. The same might’ve been said for leader Eazy-E if this story didn’t end the way it did. His dying of HIV, hardly a spoiler, is only one of many highlights the bouncy script touches upon. It’s a straight rundown of the group’s career, from low class teenagers in crime-ridden Compton to famous rap stars, with more focus on the behind-the-scenes drama than the music.
Straight Outta Compton, crudely named after the title of their debut album, isn’t anything special on the whole. Its individual parts; director F Gary Gray has a knack for glamorizing life thru movie scenes; are what keep things interesting. The prologue sequence of Eazy-E getting caught in a dope house raid and a funny bit involving a groupie named Felicia are prime examples. The actors tend to overact; you get the sense that the characters know they’re in a movie; but such flaws are basically forgiven to watch the story, which hints at a sequel focused on Dr Dre’s solo career, unfold.
my rating = 4 of 5