’30 for 30′ – ‘One Night in Vegas’: When Tupac met Iron Mike

09.07.10 9 years ago 26 Comments

The advantage to “30 for 30” having a regular timeslot is that it’s easier to remember when the films are on, to recommend them to other people, etc. The disadvantage is that this new batch of films are all debuting at the same time my schedule is getting bogged down with fall premiere work. So unless a particular film is especially noteworthy (i.e., “Two Escobars” or “No Crossover” or “Winning Time”), my plan is to do brief reviews of each after they air with a few observations, and then open things up for discussion. Some thoughts on Reggie Rock Bythewood’s “One Night in Vegas” coming up just as soon as I figure out the difference between Tupac and Six-Pack…

“One Night in Vegas” definitely fit the model of the “30 for 30” series, as its style – the comic book graphics, the spoken word artists – made it seem unlike any of the films that came before it, including Ice Cube’s own film about the intersection of sports and hip-hop, “Straight Outta L.A.” With two larger-than-larger-than-life figures in Mike Tyson and Tupac Shakur, that seems like the only way to handle things.

The legends around both men have grown so large since Tupac’s death and since Tyson’s legal troubles began that it becomes impossible to separate the fact from the fiction, and Bythewood doesn’t particularly try. I suspect that Mickey Rourke and Maya Angelou are both embellishing, at least to some degrees, when they tell their respective Tyson stories, but with Iron Mike, it wouldn’t shock me if every word of each story was true, you know?

The film is a bit mis-titled, though, as the bulk of it is about establishing the bond and parallels between Tupac and Tyson, while the actual night in question is dealt with abruptly at the film’s end. This might have been a good one to get the extra-length treatment that was given to the three films mentioned above. But given the time limitations, this was an entertaining one.

What did everybody else think?

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