Biggie & Tupac

Nick Broomfield

BY Noel DixPublished Jun 1, 2003

After directing previous documentaries Kurt & Courtney and Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madame, Nick Broomfield has gained a reputation for being a provocative director that asks the questions his audience wants to know the answers to. The purpose of making Biggie & Tupac is to solve the unsolved homicides of hip-hop legends the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, a mystery fans have wanted solved for years, though it seems it will forever be a lost cause. Having Broomfield trek through the streets of Biggie and Tupac's old neighbourhoods is like watching Geraldo Rivera trying to make a story out of sparse material and evidence, similar to a junior investigation by bumbling children. One of the theories, and likely the most accurate, is that Death Row grand puba Suge Knight ordered a hit on both rappers and then, with the help of the police department, made the events seem like a fictitious East Coast versus West Coast shoot-up. Regardless of what really went down, it's no surprise that neither crime has been solved; even though this documentary proves that there are more than enough witnesses and testimonials to lead to an arrest. Biggie & Tupac raises many good questions and Broomfield should be applauded for risking his life to interview Suge Knight, during his stay in prison, in order to obtain some answers. But the film seems unfulfilling and you can't help but realise that all this work will fall on deaf ears because the real killers will never be brought to trial. The real greatness lies in the footage, with Tupac doing his Scarface impersonation or Biggie busting flows on the street corner as a teenager. It's moments like these that makes Biggie & Tupac a rewarding film and you can't help but wish this was a documentary on their legacy rather than a tiresome question-and-answer session. Lacking in extras, such as deleted interviews or failed lines of questioning, the main focus should be on the film itself. Even commentary from Broomfield is just more of what this film needed less of. Extras: interview and commentary by Broomfield; deleted scenes; Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac discographies. (Lafayette/Razor & Tie/VSC)

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