Movie Details

Nick Broomfield, director of Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam and Kurt and Courtney, unleashes another provocation with Biggie and Tupac. Considering Broomfield's track record, that the film is dangerous, sensational, and occasionally very funny is no surprise. What is somewhat shocking, in a very rewarding and commendable way, is how moving Biggie and Tupac is. Using archival footage of the two rap stars and interviews with many of those involved, Broomfield uncovers significant evidence that corrupt LAPD cops were involved in the two deaths, and that the FBI was doing surveillance on Biggie (Christopher Wallace) on the night he was murdered. Broomfield's film also strongly suggests that Death Row Records head Suge Knight orchestrated both murders. Few satisfactory conclusions are drawn, but the film should at least encourage further investigation of these claims. By running the camera constantly, even before the interviews begin, Broomfield frequently catches his subjects off guard. But even if Broomfield had uncovered nothing, Biggie and Tupac would still be an entertaining and valuable telling of the tragic deaths of two talented young men. The filmmaker's interviews with Biggie's friends, and particularly his charming mother, Voletta Wallace, paint a picture of a surprisingly sensitive and goodhearted young man. Broomfield was granted less access to Tupac Shakur's family (Tupac's mother is still involved in business dealings with Knight; she doesn't appear in the film and she refused Broomfield permission to use Tupac's music), but he still manages to expose the controversial rapper's essential humanity. Some will find Broomfield's sarcastic and edgy attitude grating. He doesn't have the puppy-dog charm of a Michael Moore. But with Biggie and Tupac, he's shown a bit more of his sensitive side, and he's taken a step forward as a filmmaker. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi