When the first trailer for the forthcoming N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton debuted, the footage from the film was nearly overwhelmed by the minute-long introduction from the actual Dr. Dre and Ice Cube introducing it and essentially big-ups-ing their own legacy. The new trailer for the film, though, cuts that out in favor of a strong look at what the film promises: Namely, a blend of “creation myth,” Fast & Furious knockoff, and early 90’s period piece–with Paul Giamatti comfortably inhabiting his “sleazy white guy” second-skin persona as manager Jerry Heller, of course.
The trailer is heavy on Giamatti–the only recognizable face in the cast except for O’Shea Jackson Jr, who looks so much like his father (Ice Cube) that it’s eerie–and suggests the division that Heller brought in to the group. Still, any biopic gets some of its star power from the subject being portrayed, rather than the person doing the portrayal, which is probably why the Straight Outta Compton trailer focuses on the young Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy mothafuckin’ E, and mostly ignores the existence of MC Ren and DJ Yella, the N.W.A. members whose solo careers were something less than epic.
Instead, we get depictions of the stories behind the songs–Cube and Lorenzo rolling in the Benz-o, Eazy E getting called “Ruthless,” Dre and Eazy working on the song that would become “Boyz N Tha Hood”–and a glimpse of the civil rights struggle that the band found itself embroiled in, leading to what appears to be a downright climactic performance of “Fuck Tha Police.” N.W.A. is coming to your neighborhood theater, and you’d better duck–it certainly appears that Ice Cube and friends in the biopic are still crazy as fuck.