Notorious tells the story of the hip hop icon Christopher Wallace a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G. a.k.a. Biggie Smalls. It starts off with him as a young kid showing him grow up in Brooklyn. He lives with his mother, Angela Basset and his father has walked out on them. His mother loves him very much and is overprotective of him by making him not leave their house unless she is with him. One day he decides to go out and learn how to hustle from one of his friends. Fast forward and Chris is now 17 and played by Jamal Woolard. He hustles on the streets and also from time to time kills people in freestyle battles. After serving some time in prison he gets hooked up with Sean “Puffy” Combs, played flawlessly by Derek Luke. Puffy tells Chris their going to change the world and that they try to do. After getting fired Puffy creates his own record label Bad Boy Records. Their Chris meets his future wife Faith Evans. They have some problems from time to time and eventually things don’t work out. At one of his shows he meets fellow rapper Tupac Shakur, Anthony Mackie, and they form a friendship that doesn’t last for very long. They have a heated beef until Tupac’s untimely death in 1996. After leaving a club in Los Angelas a drive by shooter takes the life of Christopher Wallace and thus ends the reign of the Notorious B.I.G.

Overall the movie does work, not quite as well as other biopics such as Ray and Walk The Line. Angela Basset’s performance as Big’s mother is okay but rather distracting. Anthony Mackie gives a decent performance as Tupac. He doesn’t quite capture the presence of him but still does a nice job. Derek Luke gives probably the best performance in the film. His Puff Daddy is spot on with the real one, he acted basically just like him and was a great choice for the role. As for newcomer Jamal Woolard he does a fine job as Biggie Smalls and really captures what Biggie was trying to do.

I’d recommend seeing it if your a hip hop fan or a Notorious fan. Even if you don’t like hip hop its still a nice movie to see for the legacy that was Notorious B.I.G. Some of the movie doesn’t work like when he is a kid and his whole relationship with fellow rapper Lil’ Kim but all in all it’s still a good movie.

1 thought on “Notorious”

  1. I agree that the movie does work, though not quite as well as other biopics. He mentioned other biopics like Ray & Walk The Line, but I prefer to compare Notorious to other biopics where the musical icon was also taken from us way too soon, movies like La Bamba & Selena. I like how the film showed us the character when he was just a kid, to when he became an adult, & then his untimely demise, much like in Selena. Also, much like in Selena, the lead character is gunned down at the end of the movie, just as the career was beginning to take off.

    I think the reviewer gave a good plot summary. However, one thing he forgot to mention was at the end of the film, when Biggie’s mother decides to take him through his neighborhood for the very last time.

    He does a good job of mentioning most of the people who starred in the film. However, he forgot to mention the director, George Tillman Jr., & the real name of the woman who played Lil’ Kim, Naturi Naughton.

    Overall, I agree with this reviewer. While Notorious might not be on the same level as La Bamba & Selena, it does a decent job on its own.

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