Unlike Nick Broomfield’s irascible 2002 documentary expose Biggie and Tupac, this fictionalised account of the fast times of Christopher Wallace/Biggie Smalls, aka the Notorious BIG (Jamal Woolard) sheds no new light on the hip hop star’s murder or that of his ‘best fiend’ Tupac Shakur (Anthony Mackie).
This traditional music industry biopic trots out the line that Smalls had no involvement with Tupac’s death and correspondingly fails to use much of the circumstantial evidence available in respect to Small’s death. Indeed Broomfield’s target Suge Knight barely features.
There’s not many surprises here for fans of the big man or those new to his work but the music is great and a major plus point is that Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs (Derek Luke) is the film’s producer. As producer Combs has no qualms about dishing the dirt on Small’s tangled love life, much of which makes up the majority of this mildly diverting rags-to-riches tale. Combs is careful not to give himself a bad rap but like Broomfield he is most enamoured by Smalls’ courageous mum (Angela Bassett).
General release from Fri 13 Feb.