“Straight Outta Compton” is an amazing entry into one of my favorite subgenres…the music biopic. This film could’ve been easily botched and turned into another off-demo cash grab by Universal. Lord knows they’ve pulled a few in the past. But, the direct involvement of Ice Cube and Dr. Dre created something different. Now, I’ll stop for a moment. I know that the film overlooks Dre’s early family life, his abuse of women and it only pays lip service to Cube’s hatred of Heller. But, this is a film…not a mini-series.
What this film does is show what made Dre, Cube and Easy-E come together to form the brain trust of NWA. Much is made of NWA’s music being art that reflects their life. But, the film keeps giving away what really matters. These five guys discovered an untapped financial stream for American music. Sell an experience to the upper classes that they could never have.
Playing the film as a fixed focus fantasy creates something that allows an interesting look at the real, the contemporary relevance and the legacy of a sound. I took to “Straight Outta Compton” with far more fervor than “Love & Mercy” due to its focus and length. “Straight Outta Compton” treats itself as nothing other than what it is. A statement on an image reprocessed by men looking back on their youth.
RELEASE DATE: 8/14/2015