Last Man Standing: Suge Knight and the Murders of Biggie & Tupac | Review


"Everybody makes mistakes," the most compelling frame of Nick Broomfield's 2002 documentary, Biggie & Tupac, sees Suge Knight sat in the yard at FCI Sheridan in Oregon, where he spent four years for a probation violation. The film spends 100 minutes building Knight into a powerful, feared leader in the rap business only to have that complicated in his "message to the kids", which was obscure and somewhat insincere. Two decades later, his message on the cyclical nature of incarceration is perhaps as contemporary as it was then, as he sits incarcerated elsewhere. Meanwhile, Nick Broomfield speaks with new contributors to unveil developments in the mysterious murders of Biggie and Tupac, a mystery he never really got to the bottom of two decades ago. 

Broomfield's known for his ability to slide himself into anyone's home, sticking out like a sore thumb with his headphones and boom pole, received pronunciation slipping from his tongue opposite thick American accents. Last Man Standing, his 2021 follow up to his 2002 film, adopts a different style, which has become his new signature in recent years. Talking heads take the forefront as he slips into the background, becoming the lingering voiceover and probing questionnaire behind the camera. If compared to its predecessor, the film misses Broomfield's probing inquisitions, ambling around streets looking for someone, anyone to contribute. 

There's an intimacy built from this that works so well in his previous films, lacking slightly in the latest addition. Its most endearing segments happen in the home of producer Pam Brooks when the film adopts its humble beginnings, bargaining on the phone with contributors who are unsure whether they want to chat with Nick. When the film rests in someone's home, it feels more personal, and as an audience, we get the invite to connect and share that space with them - there's a beautiful quality that comes with watching someone open up in a place so familiar to them.

The talking heads happen in a sheeted room where black cloth drapes behind the contributors, and the formality instantly takes back that intimacy. It worked wonderfully in Broomfield's previous film, Marianne and Leonard, but something about the weight of this topic felt as though it belonged in the world and not in small studio spaces. Everything interesting happens outside, as is made clear in the 2002 picture.

Last Man Standing recycles some of the previous film's clips to give context to viewers of what they may have missed, but it would ultimately benefit from an audience walking in familiar and invested in the first chapter. There is a lot of information to process, aiming to summarise where we left off and then deep dive into its latest conspiracy theory by unpacking complex arguments. It's the mixture of tone that confuses things, half biopic, half mystery film with crude photography interspersed throughout, which the first film did well to avoid. 

There's a wealth of contributors for this doc, and no stone has gone unturned by the filmmakers to reach every corner of the who-shot-Biggie-and-Tupac conspiracy. There's upwards of twenty different voices to hear from as they slip their interjections between expansive archival footage. It should ultimately satisfy big fans who are well-versed in the East Coast/West Coast feud but leaves little room for those uninvested to gain intrigue. It feels the more immersive and empathetic version of this story was told in 2002, the mystery ultimately prevailing. 


Last Man Standing: Suge Knight and the Murders of Biggie & Tupac is showing for one night only in cinemas on June 30th including a pre-recorded Q&A. For ticket info and where to watch visit

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