No-No-Notorious! The man that made me fall in love with hip hop when I was seven years old. You know when I walked into this movie I didn't have all that many expectations, but that said this move exceeded my expectations. The cast I felt was very reasonable and over all well done, during certain scenes I found telling myself "yeah I can see why he's/she's is..." The 3 biggest names are Angela Bassett (Voletta Wallace), Derek Luke (Sean "Puffy Daddy/Puffy/P.Diddy/Diddy" Combs), and Anthony Mackie (Tupac Shakur) who all gave great performances. Especially Derek Luke's Puff Daddy who I found was dead on with mannerisms and lines that sounded very Diddyisc? Now rapper/now actor Jamal "Gravy" Woolard (Notorious B.I.G.) did a stand up performance with getting his speech patterns right in some scenes and having Biggies Smalls looks throughout the film also. The beautiful and lovely Antonique Smith portrayed Faith Evens fairly well, shes and exceptional singer as well, I also felt like she conveyed the scenes between her and Woolard like they what have really happened between Biggie and Faith.
Throughout the entire movie I was able to to be into the story even with a baby crying one row down from me (who brings babies to movies anymore I mean really) and a phone call from a certain someone...The beginning showed a young Christopher Wallace turning from being a straight A student into a drug dealer that has a baby on the way willing to sell crack to a pregnant woman when no one else would. Also the props were handled to the T with the cars and the big gray block cell phones, that made me re-live the 90's and the early part of my life all over again.
One of the things I found good was the dynamic between Luke and Woolard as they were introduced to each other and their work in the studio for however those scenes were.
One thing that this movie got was how B.I.G. was a lady's man even though he was a "heart throb, never, black and ugly as ever," and he was "Coogi'd downed to the socks" as well. From meeting and seducing Kimberly "Lil Kim" Jones (Naturi Naughton) and how relationship was behind the scenes. To meeting Faith Evens at the Bad Boy photo shoot, marrying her a few weeks later, and cheating on her until their marriage ended. Although this movie left out several other women B.I.G. has slept with while married for instance cough! Charlie Baltimore cough! We still get the picture the man wasn't a perfect role model.
Still one of the things the movie did show that towards the end of the movie was evolving into a man who started to learn from his mistakes and was happy with life. Now the ending although I knew what would happen 12 years ago still gave me those goose bumps on my arms, after seeing the reaction Puffy sprinting full speed to the bullet hole ridden GMC Suburban, and the Brooklyn streets filled with Biggie Smalls fans as his coffin was being driven along. The background music was perfect it had me tapping my leg along with the beat while in my seat, and even had me lip singing along with the music.
Now something that I would have redone would be the casting of the Lil Kim character, dont get me wrong I feel like Naughton served her purpose and not when she was taking off her clothes, but they could have found someone who resembled Lil Kim more. Although I will say this towards the end I started to see Lil Kim start to come out. Also having a scene where Kim gets an abortion should have been added. Granted this movie got a great amount of elements of the Notorious B.I.G., the friendship with Jay-Z wasn't even mentioned, I guess they couldn't find a camel who could act.
That being said I give this biopic of my favorite rapper of all time a Full Price, I highly recommend any B.I.G. or even any rap fan go out and see this, but if your not or a middle aged Caucasian person...this probably wont help in your perception of rappers...