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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.42%
Average: 15.79%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 13.16%

2 reviews, 26 user ratings

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Tupac: Resurrection
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by Dennis Swennumson

"The film that defines Tupac Shakur."
4 stars

Take a look over the current landscape of rap and hip-hop, dominated with the obsession of women and wealth to manufactured beats with bland, elementary rhymes. With very few exceptions, rap has been broken down to an uncompromising commercial science. For a prime example, look no further than P.Diddy’s MTV show “Making the Band.” It’s commercialism that is good for current record sales but possibly detrimental to the ever-increasing longevity and respect that the music and culture have worked hard to achieve. “Tupac: Resurrection” is a great documentary that makes this unfortunate state of affairs tragic, when Tupac Shakur was murdered in 1996 hip-hop lost the true voice that it direly needs right now.

From the film’s opening “Tupac: Resurrection” transcends all of the other “documentaries” that have been released straight to video since the rapper’s death. It’s the first documentary to receive a full stamp of approval from Tupac’s mother, Afeni and the first film to actually have permission to use all of the music Tupac left behind. The movie’s greatest element comes from that fact that Tupac narrates the film himself. Granted at first notion this prospect does sound downright gimmicky, but director Lauren Lazin combed over the endless amount of interview material Shakur left behind and integrates it into the movie seamlessly. A whole new aura of legitimacy comes when Tupac comments about the events of his own death.

There’s a Catch-22 about biographical documentaries that “Tupac: Resurrection” mostly avoids. A film could either portray its subject as a true every man with no transgressions and no mistakes, or the movie could focus far too much on its subject’s controversies and problems, often over-analyzing the person’s life. Lauren Lazin and contributors obviously saw this problem in many of the previous movies about Tupac’s life, and blended two possible shortcomings into the film’s greatest asset. The longest portion of the film focuses on Shakur’s sexual assault scandal and conviction, showing a hardheaded rapper against the wall seemingly fighting off the world. (His next album was called “Me Against the World.”) Often he angrily confronts the press and media about how he is without the right to justice because of his fame and race. To most this would be a mark of paranoia and the corruption of fame taking over, but in his narration Tupac maintains his innocence while apologizing and admitting his mistakes.

Make no mistake that “Tupac: Resurrection” was made to be a testament to the rapper’s legacy, but all of the major events in his life are examined objectively. The New York shooting that led to the Notorious B.I.G. feud and the eventual media-driven East Coast vs. West Coast rap wars could have easily been tilted towards Tupac’s side, but every party involved gets their say in what really happened. Thankfully the theories and controversies surrounding Tupac’s tragic shooting in Las Vegas are almost ignored, it’s clear that the film isn’t about solving the crime. (Look to Nick Broomfield’s thought-provoking “Biggie & Tupac” for one popular idea behind his murder.) Nor does the movie involve itself with the false hope that Shakur is still alive; the film makes the case that ridiculous ideas about his death tarnish the contributions Tupac made in his short life.

There are still those that would say Tupac Shakur was an over glorified thug who really didn’t deserve the fame he got, and when he had it he squandered it up until his death. No matter how ill informed those opinions may be, they do come with some merit. That’s what makes “Tupac: Resurrection” an important film, those who outright disliked and even hated the rapper and the most passionate of his fans will learn something valuable. Who knew Tony Danza was one of Tupac's most appreciated supporters?

Some may tout Tupac as a revolutionary and a martyr, and those claims may seem completely ludicrous, but take heed to the scenes when Tupac explains his theories and ideas when it comes to his own idea of “Thug Life.” Imagine if those thoughts and ideas could have grown and flourished right along with Tupac’s long and decorated career. Note: This was all written by a guy who likes Biggie’s music more.

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originally posted: 06/19/04 07:51:33
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Sydney Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Sydney Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/19/14 Vlad Martel Usual immature Black Leftist hothead NO-TALENT,undeservedly made into saint. 1 stars
12/08/11 Claire Great film, just watched the dvd and i def see pac in a new light and it made me sad. RI P 5 stars
9/01/07 papayo shall this world ever produce again someone like TUPAC? Rest in peace 1 stars
6/22/07 2Pac thats right 2Pac was muslim i think it too mohammed 5 stars
11/19/06 Amr saad love it 5 stars
10/12/06 i am white tupac was a poet, philosopher, and gangsta, he was intelligent and kept it real R.I.P 5 stars
5/03/06 odai this a good movie 5 stars
5/02/06 im white so i'm right gay 1 stars
4/24/06 tupac4evr Weltner SUCKS!! YOU Ignorant fool!! 5 stars
10/07/05 Wisamane He lived a really intresting Life, very intresting movie, very inspiring 5 stars
7/19/05 Kankasaur I believe Tupac weeps for our ignorance (some more than others) 5 stars
6/20/05 paulie weltner sucks a big dick. i hope you die weltner 5 stars
6/12/05 Weltner Sleazy thug got what he deserved.Good riddance to no-talent whiners.Amateurishly made. 1 stars
4/01/05 Richard Pryor great documentary 4 stars
11/23/04 plamena manovska the best film ever 5 stars
10/19/04 mohammed Tupac was muslim!!!!!! 5 stars
10/19/04 mohammed he done things by himmslef...never needed any1'z help!! 5 stars
10/01/04 Dihon Mikal Seraaj Tupac takes responsibility for his life and does not apologize. A must see about a great 1 5 stars
9/15/04 CD Allen Wonderful and Enlightening 5 stars
9/03/04 Reggie Tupac is BLACK JESUS. RIP, C U in HEAVEN 5 stars
8/11/04 DJ G TO MUCH 5 stars
6/30/04 spinz TUPAC IS GANGSTA 5 stars
2/29/04 Nixon great movie, dont watch it if you are not interested in Tupac or his music, i loved it! 5 stars
12/07/03 Suzz Terrific documentary 5 stars
11/21/03 Gray pure shit 1 stars
11/17/03 Ted A dramatic and compelling look at Tupac Shakur 5 stars
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  14-Nov-2003 (R)
  DVD: 15-Jun-2004



Directed by
  Lauren Lazin

Written by

  Tupac Shakur

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