Tupac Shakur died four months before the release of this distinctive addiction drama, which could have established him as a longstanding screen presence. Vondie Curtis-Hall’s semi-autobiographical film charts the antics of three heroin addicts - Spoon (Tupac Shakur), Stretch (Tim Roth) and Cookie (Thandie Newton) - as they cruise around Detroit, dodging police, criminals and the authorities.
Set in the Eight Mile district famously depicted in a later film from another rap star (Eminem), Gridlock'd relies heavily on director Curtis-Hall personal feel for Detroit’s dangerous streets and edgy atmosphere. But this is no grimly distressing piece, instead it’s pitted with blackly comic humour that’s closer in tone to British addiction films like Trainspotting and Adam and Paul. And Roth and Shakur have genuine, charming chemistry in the lead roles.