Gang Related - UGPulse Reviews

Gang Related - UGPulse Reviews

Gang Related: Tupac's last COMPLETE role in a movie.

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First published: September 18, 2010

US Release Date: 8 October 1997 (USA)

Director: Jim Kouf

Main Cast: James Belushi, Tupac Shakur, Lela Rochon, Dennis Quaid, David Paymer, James Earl Jones, Kool Moe Dee.

Genre: Drama, Crime

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UGPulse Rating:

Plot:
Two "good" detectives think they have a way out of their miserable lives and turn to stealing from criminals as they kill them to burry the evidence. They burry or close their cases by planting evidence and as long as no one follows up on the scum they take from the streets, everything works out perfectly.

With the help of a local stripper (Lela Roshon), its business as usual when Det. Frank Divinci (James Belushi) and Det. Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur), carry out another drug deal and kill Lionel Hudd (Kool Moe Dee). The problem is that Hudd is not really a drug dealer, but a Drug Enforcement Administration agent. They must shut the case swiftly or lose the case to Hudd's partner who needs answers.

They need to plant the evidence on somebody without an alibi quickly... and who better than a local drunk, Joe Doe (Dennis Quaid), suffering from amnesia.

Frank Divinci (James Belushi) and Jake Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur) find their killer, Joe Doe (Dennis Quaid)
Frank Divinci (James Belushi) and Jake Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur) find their killer, Joe Doe (Dennis Quaid).

Review:
Brilliant movie... The movie does not even let you sit down to think about what is going on or where it is set. As soon as the movie begins it swallows you up and does not let go. Its the work of a great script executed by an effective cast and good direction.

The acting is very credible and reminds some of us why we think Tupac is the best rapper-turned-actor that has ever lived. While Ice Cube, Will Smith, Ice-T, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah do well for their roles, no one has ever been as convincing in complex roles like my man Tupac. 

Jake Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur) and Frank Divinci (James Belushi)
Jake Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur) and Frank Divinci (James Belushi).

Talking about the roles... The lead roles in this movie are very interesting and not static. Watching the two cops go through their miserable lives yearning and coming so close to an escape before make a small error that beyond their control... Watching the characters change from fear to panic...

Frank Divinci (James Belushi) and Jake Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur)
Frank Divinci (James Belushi) and Jake Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur).

Probably the role I felt that could have used more work was that of Joe Doe (Dennis Quaid). Though I felt Dennis Quaid did a lot with it I was left wanting perhaps a tiny little more from both script and actor. Though her character was rather static for a character that was there throughout the movie, I think Lela Roshon did well with Cynthia Webb... and her static character weaved in well with the lead roles of the detectives. It was always great watching Lela Roshon on screen in the nineties- it did not matter that she always seemed to play the same role... except in Waiting to Exhale. Also good to see James Earl Jones in Action.

Lela Roshon
Lela Roshon.

You may have noticed that I only gave the movie 3 stars... Most of the movie is brilliant but the last 15 minutes of the 102 minutes are painful, after perhaps dragging the story for perhaps 10 minutes too long.

But definitely do go watch it... Its an interesting lesson in humanity, greed, good and bad... It is also Tupac's last COMPLETE role in a movie. Tupac himself died almost exactly the same way as the victim in the movie.

Gang Related Interviews James Belushi Tupac Shakur James Earl Jones Dennis Quaid Lela Rechon & Jim Kouf

Gang Related
Gang Related.

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First published: September 18, 2010