So I finally got to see Notorious, and it wasn’t as bad as I initially guessed it would be. That doesn’t mean it was good. It was pretty formulaic, and offered a textbook example of why voiceover narration is evil and should be avoided at all costs. (WTF? Was Biggie narrating from beyond the grave???) They also did a pretty lousy job of providing some sort of temporal context. With the exception of some shots of the New York skyline with the still-standing World Trade Center and some funny-looking clothing, it could have been 2002 or something.
I cracked on the choice of casting Naturi Naughton (late of the ferociously cheesy 3LW) as Lil Kim, but she owned the few scenes she was in. I stand corrected. Also, um, she’s grown up very, very nicely. Jamal Woolard was pretty solid as big, while Derek Luke was pretty annoying as Puff (which I suppose means he nailed him). The last ten minutes is basically Biggie making amends and learning to appreciate life — just in case anyone watching may have missed the point that a talented 24-year-old being gunned down is a terrible tragedy.
But we have to talk about Angela Bassett. She’s been coasting on goodwill for “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” for over a decade now, but it’s time to let that go, folks. The past few years for her have basically been “Boy/girl, you KNOW I done raised you better than THAT!” with some crying mixed in. The same is true here, except this time there’s a weird accent (my friend: “is she supposed to be Irish?”) that completely disappears in some scenes.