I don’t understand why they all hate Sting’s band so much, but hey.

Time to take ya’ll to school! Learn a thing or two about early 90’s gansta rap, boi! Okay, I’ll stop now. Here we have Straight Outta Compton, a tale of young individuals with similar backgrounds who all live in Compton, and are attempting to make a name for themselves through the medium of rap, gansta rap in particular (there is a difference, god!).

Straight Outta Compton Review
From left-to-right: Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy E, I-Couldn’t-Care-Less and The-Other-One.

We follow the lives of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Easy E (they sound like superheroes) and a few others who don’t really matter to the plot. With humble beginnings they soon form the super-group N.W.A. (I’ll let you find out what it stands for) with Dr. Dre as the producer, Ice Cube as the writer and Easy E as the money and lead voice. As you can imagine, things work out for them. They climb their way up the charts even against opposition from police (I wonder why), the media and even the FBI. Not only do we see them form, we also see them split. A clash over money, egos and talent causes the group to take their own separate paths and create their own legacies.

The acting in this is film is believable and actually quite good. They all could of cashed it in with generic ‘gangsta’ performances, but they all managed to keep strong to the identities of the characters they’re portraying, and especially Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre), who manages to play his role with real heart. Whilst the acting talent is good, the characters aren’t given a chance to show their nicer side. Instead you end up with a film where most of the characters aren’t likable, each one having a selfish agenda to make more money when they already have loads of money.

Straight Outta Compton Review
The 2-dimensional police force you’re suppose to hate; strangely, it works.

The police’s portrayal in this film is very black and white, but it works strangely enough. You get a raw gut feeling of hatred toward them and want to see an end to the injustices. Considering the appearances from the police are brief, the film manages to quickly get us on N.W.A’s side against them. The highlight of the film is definitely the performance of the track ‘F*ck The Police’, and the controversy surrounding it.

This all adds to another good point of the film, the sort of history lesson audiences are getting. Many watching wouldn’t have been directly involved or affected by the events in this film. However the story being told is possibly more relevant today than it ever has been. With reports of police brutality and racial discrimination across the U.S. this story has some real power behind it. It’s just a shame the story revolves around several unlikable protagonists.