‘Straight Outta Compton’, the biopic of controversial gangsta rap group N.W.A., hasn't had the easiest road to the big screen. The film has been in development since 2009, with a number of directors set to direct. Finally, Universal Pictures came on board to make the film happen with director F. Gary Gray (who had previously worked with both Ice Cube and Dr. Dre on previous projects), but the big question is, was it worth the wait?

The trailer starts with a weird black and white prologue, where the actual Cube and Dre go back to South Central (in a brand new Chrysler) to revisit their roots and talk about their legacy. They march down the street, visit their old barber, chill with Kendrick Lamar outside Tam's Burgers...it's an oddly unnecessary bit before the trailer starts. You don't have to explain why N.W.A. is so important and influential. They made a movie about it.

Once the trailer starts, we get into some more familiar action (at least familiar to those who grew up listening to N.W.A.). Most of the action focuses on Cube, Dre and Eazy-E (though MC Ren and DJ Yella are both there, but don't appear to be major characters). Marcus Callender stars as Dr. Dre, Ice Cube's son, O'Shea Jackson Jr., plays his father, and Eazy-E is played by Jason Mitchell. Both Mitchell and Jackson bear remarkable resemblances to their characters, Jackson especially. He's got his father's trademark scowl down almost perfectly. Unfortunately, he's got the least experience of all the actors, and that shows. Though Dre and Cube are the surviving, and perhaps most remembered N.W.A. members, Eazy (always sort of the de facto leader of the group) shines through here.

We get a lot of biopics on more classically appreciated artists, and it's about time we got one about pioneers in the rap game. ‘Straight Outta Compton’ shows a lot of promise; let's hope the movie can live up to that.

In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton tells the astonishing story of how these youngsters revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war.

‘Straight Outta Compton’ opens in theaters on August 14.

Straight Outta Compton

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