'Resurrection' holds its own with voice of legend

Courtesy of MTV Pictures
Hip-hop legend: He suffered an immature death, but Tupac’s story is told with great depth and care in this new docutmentary that uses extraordinary sources.

Sow many Tupac documentaries are there? Too many. Luckily, this is the one to see. Through footage of Tupac as a dorky kid to his explanation of why he refused to take a sexually transimitted disease test for Janet Jackson, this film gives audiences an intimate view into the star’s life.

As the first official documentary on the life and times of Tupac Shakur, this film has much more to offer than its predecessors. Tupac narrates, as if from beyond the grave, and the film gives an inspiring and insightful look at the rap legend’s life from start to premature finish.

MTV director and producer Lauren Lazin paints a vivid picture of the deceased star. The wealth of material gave Lazin the ability to have Tupac narrate the film. The audience enters Tupac’s childhood and is given the opportunity to see the artist grow from a boy to the famed man who was gunned down in Las Vegas in September 1996.

“”Tupac: Resurrection”” casts a spell that promises to make the viewer a Tupac fan. A fairly balanced yet loving image of the rapper is revealed, although many details, such as his time in jail, legal troubles and the infamous East Coast-West Coast rivalry, are merely touched upon.

Beginning with his motheras involvement in the Black Panthers and pregnancy in jail, Tupac’s life is put into context. He discusses his inspirations, role models and struggles to write about the duality of life he witnessed around him.

Through interviews, home movies, journal readings and poetry readings, Tupac’s political rage and ideas on thug life are laid out in detail. “”I didn’t create thug life,”” Tupac said. “”I diagnosed it.”” Tupac speaks to the controversial elements of his life and explains his music and the social messages with it. He addresses his often-criticized behavior and the life that surrounded him.

The documentary’s most remarkable achievement is the way it captures Tupac as he discovers himself and forges an identity for his community.

The soundtrack is produced by Eminem and brings Tupac and Biggie Smalls back together for the single “”Runnin’ (Dying to Live).”” Many of the hits that make Tupac the best-selling rap artist of all time are also featured.

“”Tupac: Resurrection”” does not attempt to draw conclusions about the rap superstar but instead celebrates his life and hints at how it could have developed had it not been tragically cut short.