Biggie and Tupac

The title of the movie is Biggie and Tupac, but a more accurate name is Nick and Biggie and Tupac, with an emphasis on "Nick." Nick is Nick Broomfield, the man behind documentaries like Kurt and Courtney and Fetishes. Although the purports to be a new examination into the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls, it is also about the arrogance and vanity of Broomfield. In this aspect, it is actually quite amusing.

As a documentary filmmaker, Broomfield takes an interesting approach to his subject. "Haphazard" is probably the most fitting description. He marches into offices with his camera in tow, asking extremely pointed questions that usually piss off the subject. Oddly enough, half of the time it looks like these are rehearsed entrances with forced surprise. The other half look genuine. Broomfield is a Brit, and his whiny voice adds a bit of pompousness to the proceedings. He also is happy to have himself on camera for a large amount of time, which is actually pretty distracting. Still, Broomfield's cajones takes him places that would otherwise scare the normal documentarian, and he does get some good interview material, including a truly bizarre interview with Marion "Suge" Knight, in which Knight purports to give a message to the kids and ends up giving veiled threats.

His take on the murders is that they were orchestrated by Knight, in jail at the time of the documentary. Knight wanted to off both Shakur and Wallace and did so by fanning the flames of an East Coast vs. West Coast rap war in order to make money off their deaths. His strongest evidence comes from Russell Poole, an ex-police officer. Poole had some compelling evidence that member of the Los Angeles Police Department were involved, but once he presented this evidence he was taken off the case. Broomfield does a decent job of introducing the world of rap as well as the history of Shakur and Smalls, although information along the same lines can easily be found elsewhere. As the title and above picture implies, Biggie and Tupac started as friends. This aspect may have been the hardest to document, and it shows. Broomfield has a little information, but not much.

Mongoose Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 47 minutes, Rated R for language.

Back to Movies