An investigative documentary about a theory that Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur’s deaths are connected by a conspiracy involving the Los Angles police department and Death Row Records producer Suge Knight. Director Nick Broomfield goes to look for answers to the two unsolved murders and the how the friendship between the two was destroyed. The major issue with the documentary is that it is inconclusive, while interesting because of its insight on who Biggie and Tupac were the film doesn’t answer what it set out to do. I don’t think Broomfield intended to solve the murder of Biggie and Tupac but the film seems to present theory as fact without proper evidence.
Broomfield is a fearless documentary filmmaker and some of the risks he takes in this film are grand: He doesn’t hesitate to walk up to Suge Knight in prison to request an interview despite believing he orchestrated murders. However the discoveries he makes in the film can be seen as circumstantial but there are powerful moments that Broomfield is able to unearth in the film. The moment where Mark Hyland is in prison but admits to being in the room when Knight and LAPD cops arranged the assassination of Biggie Smalls. While the film doesn’t answer the question of who killed them it shows how the investigations have been deeply flawed.
The documentary also explore the relationship that Biggie and Tupac had with each other. Broomfield gets access to many people in the life of the two rappers, Biggie’s mother, Tupac’s father, witnesses to their murders. It shows how outside forces tore the two friends apart and that it was Suge Knight responsible for their death not each other. The theory Broomfield explores comes from ex-L.A.P.D officer Russell Poole who claims he has documents that prove that Knight had collaborated with a police officer and others. These documents are never seen in the film and its never made clear what the documents contain.
It’s an interesting to film to watch but its an investigation of a conspiracy theory, don’t watch this film expecting any sort of answer to the murders. The film does stay focused on its content however, unlike other Broomfield films – Broomfield doesn’t take an opportunity to have the spotlight. He takes his risks but the film doesn’t become about him, the film does work in its insight of how Biggie and Tupac were and their relationship. The access Broomfield gets has gives you some new understanding to their power as leaders in their communities. The investigative angle just undercuts some credibility to the film as it can not decisively prove any of what it sets out to do.