Mean streets in­spire

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

young in ur­ban Amer­ica at that time, ev­ery day was a fight unto it­self. ( Check the head­lines in 2015. Has any­thing changed?)

No won­der the spec­tac­u­lar as­cent to ( it must be said, a short- lived) mass pop­u­lar­ity by NWA fright­ened the rich, white and old es­tab­lish­ment of the time.

While the group soon fell apart due to the usual cre­ative, fi­nan­cial and per­sonal in­dul­gence is­sues, the me­te­oric rise and fe­ro­cious rampage of NWA in their prime fully de­serves the big- screen treat­ment.

There­fore as a movie, Straight Outta Comp­ton wields its max­i­mum im­pact in a grip­ping first half – where the group rapidly get their abra­sive act to­gether, then rush head­long at an un­sus­pect­ing world.

The core of the orig­i­nal NWA line- up is quite rightly the prin­ci­pal fo­cus here. There is Eazy- E ( Jason Mitchell), slightly older and ( street) wiser than the oth­ers. It is the pro­ceeds from his hal­cyon days as a drug dealer in their neigh­bour­hood that gets the group into a stu­dio in the first place.

As for Ice Cube ( played here by his own son, O’Shea Jack­son Jr), spawn­ing lyrics that pro­voked both moral out­rage and deep thought were his strong suit.

Cube’s charge that US law en­force­ment of­fi­cers wielded “the au­thor­ity to kill a mi­nor­ity” ( on NWA’s most no­to­ri­ous and im­por­tant track F*** tha Po­lice) stands as one of the most in­flam­ma­tory lines ever recorded to tape. Also loom­ing large is Dr. Dre ( Corey Hawkins), a self­schooled ge­nius with a turntable and record­ing deck whose sound­scapes rev­o­lu­tionised con­tem­po­rary mu­sic for bet­ter and for worse. By the time Straight Outta Comp­ton reaches the point where NWA must in­evitably self- de­struct, there is still over an hour of run­ning time left to go in what be­comes an epic, slog­ging saga.

Not even the in­tro­duc­tion of the still- fear­some stan­dover im­pre­sario Suge Knight ( R. Mar­cos Tay­lor) as a late- break­ing vil­lain can turn the movie around.

How­ever, few will take Straight Outta Comp­ton to task for ta­per­ing off quite a mem­o­rable peak achieved well be­fore the clos­ing cred­its.

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