City of Lies – “Old Thing Back”

Russell Poole and Jack Jackson investigate the murders of rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur.



XabisoThis is a murder mystery movie with detective insights around Biggie Smalls’ murder, all based on a true story. It’s an entertaining film with a good performances from Jonny Depp and Forest Whitaker.

Jonny Depp’s character is a detective (Russell Poole) who spent years trying to solve the case, but after two decades, the investigation remains open due to internal corruption within the L.A.P.D. Forest Whitaker, plays a reporter who is in search to find out the truth around the unsolved case.

As a huge fan of hip hop and Biggie I had high expectations coming into the movie.

I was quite disappointed because I saw nothing new that hasn’t been said about the case before.

Even though my expectations weren’t entirely met this is still an interesting movie to watch, especially for people who don’t know much about Biggie.



Bandile – The core of the movie follows the investigation, before, during and after these devastating murders of Biggie. Yet not in the manner of detail you’re hoping it would explore. You’re not going to get any new answers or depth on this case, aside from speculation and hypothesis. What you will get is a slightly intriguing character study on the morality of fighting against a system that is hiding more secrets than its willing to tell. The leading investigative officer perfectly embodies this sense of jaded fatigue and the resulting performance brings a necessary weight to proceedings.

City of Lies has an incredibly low sense of time placement. In one moment, you’re in 1997 with the fallout investigating the murders and the in the next scene suddenly the characters have iPhones and you’ll see Ranger Rover Sports. There is never a clear distinctive decision cutting back and forth to showcase the setting of time and with that, the edit creates a confusing and muddled narrative. The colour grading is also slightly obtuse and none effective with constant muted greys and dark blues throughout. Equally as poor is the make-up… Interestingly it isn’t that of Depp, whose character doesn’t seem to age in the twenty-year investigation, but it is more the supporting cast.

The movie was well scripted with all the facts and storylines were on point. Jonny Depp’s acting in this movie was the best of all the cast members.


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