A classic example of a good idea ruined by Hollywood formulas. Jim Belushi and Tupac Shakur (in his last performance) are two corrupt cops with an effective scheme: they rob and kill drug dealers. Unfortunately, one of the... more »ir victims turns out to be an undercover agent for the DEA, and the two bad cops have to scramble to find a suspect to pin the murder on. Soon they're caught in a web of missing evidence, false witnesses, and frayed nerves--Gang Related could have been a lean film noir, slowly tightening until the men break under the pressure. Unfortunately, this isn't the 1940s, and suddenly the plot takes an absurd twist into the most melodramatic coincidence imaginable. It's too bad. Also featuring the lovely Lela Rochon, James Earl Jones, David Paymer, and a surprise performance by Dennis Quaid. --Bret Fetzer« less
"James Belushi and rapper Tupac Shakur in his final performance before his death are corrupt detectives who murder an undercover DEA agent and try to pin the murder on someone else. With the help of Belushi's stripper girlfriend, played by Lela Rechon, the two go on a rampage trying to find the perfect suspect to tag the murder to. When the murdered DEA agent's colleagues keep asking questions, the cops feel even more pressured to produce any evidence that distances them from the murder.Belushi and Shakur make for a good team in an otherwise average crime thriller. Belushi is the more brutal of the two as he goes around kicking and blasting while the more sympathetic Shakur is trying to keep it together and also seems to feel some form of guilt over the crimes that he and his partner have committed. As is often the case in films like this, the deeper the two cops get in trying to cover up their crime, the more their world seems to fall apart. Real criminals that they have arrested are acquitted because they have used the stolen evidence in other cases, some of their phony witnesseses are buckling under pressure, and the man who they try to stick the murder charge to turns out to be more than what they expected. Through it all, Belushi and Shakur have a real chemistry and the audience often finds itself rooting for these guys who are in all honesty, complete jerks. Many of Shakur's hardcore fans often praise his performance, which is real good, but Belushi is the one carrying the team here. Not to say that Shakur does not give an excellent performance but his role is less-defined so without Belushi, the film doesn't work. He is the one we all love to hate here. A scumbag homicide cop with homicidal tendencies who seems to keep testing his luck in every area. Shakur is more or less the guilty conscience of the duo. The more the story progresses, the worse he seems to feel about what he has done. The interesting thing is how Shakur's character compliments Belushi's. Once the two are no longer functioning as a unit, Belushi is lost in our eyes. The little sympathy we felt for his character is gone. The way that he distances himself from Shakur is one of the few noble things that he does in the film but unfortunately, without his partner to save him, he is beyond help. He is now just a renegade without a purpose and we as an audience know that wherever he is going, he is in for some trouble. "Gang Related" is not an excellent movie. The story seems to wear thin in some areas but the film's two leads really keep this one above water. James Belushi turns in one of his best perfomances in some time in a role much different from what you're used to seeing from him. Shakur, in somewhat of a low-key performance is absolutely brilliant. Many people criticize rappers for trying to pick up a second paycheck without mastering the acting craft. Shakur is so natural as an actor, you would think it was his first love. It is a shame that Tupac never got an opportunity to be all that he could as far as acting goes. "Related" is not exactly an original concept but it is worth the time spent as it takes you for a nice little ride. On a side note, the Pac-influenced soundtrack of the film also helped give it a more professional feel."
Tupac's final film
Trevor Cotton | Penzance, Cornwall, England | 11/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like most people reviewing here, i bought this film to see Tupac, had he not been in the film it's doubtful I would have been interested. Having now watched it, I was quite surprised at how good the film was, especially considering the lack of promotion it seemed to get (in England anyway).
Tupac and James Belushi are cast as two crooked cops who set up drug deals, take the money and then kill the dealers, dishing out their own kind of justice. It all goes badly wrong when they mistakenly kill an undercover cop, and have to continuosly scramble to cover their tracks. Tupac is perhaps surprisingly cast as the better of the two cops, the one with a conscience, a less imaginative director would have probably cast them the other way round. Belushi plays the cop who will do anything to save himself, and to be honest, though Tupac is good in the film, Belushi does steal the show, Pac has more of a supporting role.
There are many twists and coincidences in the plot, and it does keep you on edge, but it is not without it's faults though, the poor ending being the main problem. Overall though this is a very watchable film, and obviously Tupac's final screen performance, recommended."
Better then I expected
Ronnie Clay | Winnsboro, Louisiana | 10/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jim Belushi and Tupac have good chemistry as 2 crooked, conflicted cops. Tupac played a good character as a troubled cop. He was willing to bend some rules and put some money in his pocket, but now things have gone entirly too far for him. Jim Belushi plays a dumb cop who continues makes the situation even worse, and believe's he can manipulate his way out of anything."
"Anyone with love for Tupac Amaru Shakurs' work can appreciate this movie.To those pac fans.Don't forget the soundtrack."
2Pac's best - witty and unusually funny
Lyricalintizimist | 05/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's too bad some reviewers talk about the movie's plot because it really ought to be viewed without any knowledge of what happens. The first time I saw it I thought it was surprisingly funny because of the twists both of these cops are confronted with. The courtroom scenes are great with James Earl Jones going at it with Wendy Crewson. She plays the DA and shows up in plenty of movies but in supporting roles. The whole movie makes great use of lesser known actors that get roughed up by the two cops or play interesting roles. Even the soundtrack was great - a 2 CD set. Pac died shortly after finishing filming so the ending is really kind of creepy but also prophetic."