Straight Outta Compton – 8

As far as I can tell, this captured the world of Gangsta Rap so well I feel I’m now an expert. I certainly learned a lot of new songs. I don’t think there was much original in the story of the friends from the ‘hood who rose through the power of their art, fighting the Establishment and money-suckers, going different routes as fame and fortune came their way. The police didn’t come across too well, but that just brought echoes of more recent events.

One unfortunate thing that N.W.A. and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson had in common was a wigged Paul Giamatti as their sleazy manager. Being miscast once was laughable, similarly miscast a second time a tragedy. A real person in the role, instead of a cartoon character, would have added some needed subtlety and depth to the story. But the power of the music kept the story going, and kept me in my seat through the credits.

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