This movie has been on my radar for a while now. The story revolves around the murder of Biggie Smalls / Notorious B.I.G. / Christopher Wallace, and the detective assigned to solve the case, which is still unsolved.
The movie delves into a murky world of collusion between undercover & senior detectives in LAPD and the higher ups within Death Row Records.
The reason I’ve had such a penis-prong for this particular movie was because of the controversy that has surrounded it since August of last year. One month before the movie was set to be released, it was suddenly pulled from distribution by Sony, Miramax and a slew of smaller production companies and distributors.
The reason? Apparently the lead Johnny Depp hit one of the crew members on-set (nothing more has been said or done about this incident since). When news of this broke, the films release was cancelled almost immediately, leading to speculation and conspiracy theories that the real reason for the movie being shelved was to avoid slander on the part of the LAPD.
Having already suffered PR blow-outs from both the L.A riots & the Rampart scandal, the theory goes that LAPD’s involvement with Death Row Records was covered up, as it would have proven fatal for the department and the resulting litigation of this could have bankrupted the entire city.
As for the movie itself, it’s a decent little drama / thriller. Depp & Whitaker are pretty solid, and I was pretty engrossed in it from start to finish, despite not being a fan of rap music, much less Biggie Smalls or his counterpart Tupac Shakur.
It’s a shame for Depp that the movie is only being released in Italy (the only copy I could get my hands on had Italian credits & subtitles), as next to Black Mass it’s one of his better, more recent roles (Black Mass being another favourite of mine).
Check it out if you’re in Italy any time soon.