N.W.A. got their big break by being talented and showing society how racist and over the top the police were in those times. The film itself is very interesting and keeps you wanting to watch and find out what happens from beginning to end. We see the original N.W.A. group from their start of fame to what they look like today; Ice Cube (played by his son O’Shea Jackson Jr.), Dr. Dre (played by Corey Hawkins), Eazy-E (played by Jason Mitchell), DJ Yella (played by Neil Brown Jr.) and MC Ren (played by Aldis Hodge). These actors played perfect N.W.A. members as teenagers and young adults.
Though the film itself is great, there were some flaws. One being that you hear these songs of how horrible Compton is yet we don’t really see much aside from police brutality, we don’t get to connect with them in their teenage life and how they grew up. The film starts out with some glimpse into their life, though right away they make music and right away they get a deal then go on tour. That being said, it is clear that they did not live the best life nor did they get treated correctly from the police being racist alone, though it would have nice to have seen more of them before they became N.W.A. Not only that, but also with the fact of Ice Cube raps a song about his dead friends, yet we don’t see anyone of his friends get killed, we don’t hear of any of his friends dying, which would have played into the seeing more of their life in Compton. However, we did hear and see a small part of the funeral of Dr. Dre’s little brother being killed, though again, we would have connected more with that character if we would have seen what happened rather than hear Dre say it. The film itself was nearly two and a half hours long, though some parts were very rushed, if they’re going to already make the movie that long, they could have expanded it a little more with some extra background information. Also, didn’t Dr. Dre beat up a chick in 1992 or something? What ever happened to that?
That aside, the music in the film was amazing. Ice Cube’s son rapped and acted just like his father, he truly did a great job in making his father’s history. There were a few great surprises in the film getting to see Snoop Dogg (played by Keith Stanfield) and Dr. Dre invent one of Snoop’s first hit singles. In which Stanfield played a believable Snoop. As well as the shock of seeing Tupac (played by Mark Rose) which made the audience awe and cheer at how believing he was as well as how much Rose looks like Tupac and even sounds like him.
The only complaints aside from their background was how fast paced the film was. When Ice Cube leaves N.W.A. and creates “America’s Most Wanted,” we don’t really get to see him writing, nor see him recording, we just hear his song on the radio and then see him record the next single for the next album, when it would have been nice to see him sit at home with his wife, in which we don’t know how/where he met her, and write or practice his hip hop. Instead of rushing through and skipping over that part especially skipping over when N.W.A. records their album without Ice Cube. Just some minor fixes that would have been done but again, the movie itself was already long so there must be cut scenes that show all of this.
Lastly, Eazy-E’s sickness then death was extremely rushed, in the span of fifteen minutes, if that, we see him get sick, in the hospital, every one of his friends come to say bye to him, then he dies. They’re trying to commemorate his death with this film yet they don’t show us anything aside from him coughing, then fainting, then hospital, then death. Though his reaction to finding out he has AIDs is amazing. Mitchell shows a moment of true pain where there was no cure and anything and everything was out of his hands; a pure Goosebumps moment. The entire cast in this film are truly talented.
All in all the film is great for those fans of N.W.A. and their music. It truly captures their growth with the music and how it took them from being all friends who wanted to make music, to enemies that were taken over by the music, to taking the music and flourishing with it.