When discussing the distinguished pantheon of hip hop greats, it would be impossible not to mention N.W.A. Their 1988 debut album Straight Outta Compton – which features the incendiary anthem ‘F**k tha Police’, a statement track which feels sadly timely given recent stateside events – had an unquantifiable impact on the evolution of hip-hop. As such, you’d be hard pressed to find worthier subjects for the music biopic treatment, and in translating their story to the big screen director F. Gary Gray has produced a fittingly raw and powerful film.
It’s difficult not to think of those classic Eddie Murphy cop films when watching Ride Along (2014), the latest film to see Kevin Hart flex his comedic muscles. There are many similarities between the two loquacious humorists, and while there is no denying Hart’s leading man potential he is still in pursuit of a project that can fully utilise his talent. An uninspired buddy cop comedy, Ride Along means the search continues.
It would seem that more and more animated directors are successfully making the transition to live action. Late last year, Brad Bird impressed with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and just this month Andrew Stanton did a fine job with John Carter. Now it’s the turn of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, famous for 2009’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, as they attempt to breathe new life into 80’s TV show 21 Jump Street. Ditching the drama for some R-rated humour, is this revamp an unlikely comedic hit?
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