ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Notorious Movie Review - Biggie Smalls Aka the Notorious B.i.g. Tribute Film

Updated on October 27, 2018
Journey * profile image

Nyesha loves writing about cooking/recipes, restaurants, movies, weddings, and poetry.

Review of Notorious movie

(note, reviews may contain spoilers)

NOTORIOUS the movie - Based on the life of Christopher Wallace aka Biggie Smalls aka the Notorious B.I.G., the film Notorious begins with narration by the voice of Jamal Woolard who plays Biggie Smalls.

  • He says that God started life for him with a clean slate but growing up in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, there was no chance for a clean, good kid to stay that way.
  • In the movie Notorious, the story begins with Biggie Smalls walking down the street as a young kid (the young Biggie is played by his real life son, Christopher Jordan Wallace).

He is walking with his mom Voletta Wallace, played by Angela Bassett, and she is praising him for doing so well in school. She calls him "Chrissy Poo" and he gets embarrassed.

Biggie Smalls and his mother, Voletta get interrupted by a man in their path, in front of their home. His mother introduces him as Biggie's father.

  • Biggie can't remember his father and the encounter is like meeting his father for the first time.
  • It's a brief moment that does not last as a reconciliation between father and son.
  • From that early age, Biggie Smalls throws his anger into starting to rap his feelings.

He is rude to his teacher when he feels provoked (His teacher had told him that he would end up as a garbage man if he didn't study). The clever retort that gets Biggie kicked out of the classroom is his saying that he did his research- "a teacher makes $24,000 a year and a garbage man makes $28,000 a year. That means I'll make $4,000 more than [the teacher]..."

Shortly after, Biggie finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant. After the initial shock, Chris makes his girlfriend happy by saying he will take care of her.

Biggie's mom kicks him out of the house when all at once, she learns that he is failing in school, his girlfriend is pregnant, and he's dealing drugs.

Biggie then continues his drug dealing including selling crack to a pregnant woman. When his fellow drug dealer questions him about selling crack cocaine inexpensively to women that are pregnant, he says "I ain't no social worker." He quickly ends up in jail.

"I ain't no social worker."

— Biggie Smalls when confronted with the idea of examining his actions in drug dealing.

Notorious movie photo

Notorious | Source

Biggie Smalls begins to work more on his music

Biggie Smalls calls his mom and asks her to pray for him. She says she never stopped. They pray together over the telephone.

  1. Biggie remains in jail through the birth of his daughter.
  2. He meets her for the first time when she is a few months old, reunites with his girlfriend, and reconciles with his mother (who says he'll make a great father).

He narrates, "Having a daughter made me want to be a different kind of cat and not being able to support her felt like a whole new kind of jail."

Biggie begins to work more on his music. He signs for a record deal. He cheats on the mother of his daughter with Lil Kim, as depicted in the film. He uses a familiar line to charm her, "I got you."

Later, the record deal that Biggie Smalls thought he had falls through and he begins hustling again. He and his friend are apprehended for carrying an illegal firearm.

The film Notorious depicts that his friend takes the blame since only one of them technically needs to "go down". Biggie's friend convinces him that he has too much talent and skills to go to jail again and that with his priors, he would get more time, 5-6 years for the crime.

Having a daughter made me want to be a different kind of cat and not being able to support her felt like a whole new kind of jail.

— Biggie Smalls

Biggie Smalls goes on to launch his music career

Subsequently, Biggie Smalls' friend goes to jail and Biggie goes on to launch his music career. He befriends Tupac Shakur (2-Pac) who is already successful in music at that time. At a club, Biggie teases Kim, saying "Look at that fine girl." She gets upset and says, "which one." He points and says, "That one." She turns and she's facing a mirror. She's flattered and all is well again, until...

Biggie learns his mother has breast cancer. He has a lot of trouble dealing with this. At the same time, he is beginning to be paid really well by Bad Boy Entertainment Records.

The film Notorious goes on to depict Biggie Smalls otherwise known as The Notorious B.I.G. reaching great heights of success with his music, while womanizing and partying a lot. In the studio, he's creating great rhymes:

"It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up Magazine...
I'm blowing up like you knew I would..
If you don't know, now you know...."

He narrates,

"If they didn't know Puff Daddy (P.Diddy) and Biggie Smalls before, they sure know us now."

At a party, he announces on stage, "Brooklyn, We did it!"

Brooklyn, We did it!

— Biggie Smalls

Biggie Smalls meets Faith Evans

Biggie Smalls meets Faith Evans and narrates, "When I see Faith, all I could think was damn, she's like some chick fresh off a movie screen."

She asks him what he was doing before he hooked up with Puff (P. Diddy). Biggie replies, "Pharmaceuticals." She asks, "Are you a good boy trying to be bad or a bad boy trying to be good." After some charming ("Can I be the guy who makes you laugh?"), he wins Faith over, subsequently marrying her.

Kim sees the whole romance unfold before her and throws her own anger into her music, as the film Notorious depicts.

Faith later catches Biggie cheating on HER and pours her heart into her own lyrical story. She sings, "I remember the way you used to love me..."

These musical moments take the audience back to that great music of the mid-late 1990s.

Faith Evans and Biggie Smalls reconcile. Since things "got cool" with Biggie and Faith, Biggie took his show (Junior Mafia) on the road.

Can I be the guy who makes you laugh?

— Biggie Smalls to Faith Evans

Wealth and fame

Biggie goes to the top of the Billboard charts many times over and gains the wealth he wants. In a foreshadowing moment, he narrates, "Like Pac said, once you go up, you can only come down."

Much scandal ensues, with Tupac getting beaten in a lobby. Biggie Smalls claims that Tupac Shakur had difficulty trusting and thought he was being set up.

East-West coast rivalry develops in the rap music scene including in the lyrics of Tupac's songs. After seeing a magazine cover with Tupac and Faith, Biggie accuses Faith of cheating on him with Tupac. He becomes aggressive, and this time, his charming apology doesn't work for a reconciliation.

Things unravel and in one instance, Biggie Smalls needs a morale boost from P. Diddy before getting on stage. He can't find size 14 shoes to fit him and go on stage. Eventually, he gets some and goes on. The rival continues between East and West coast. The film Notorious depicts the rivalry to be fueled by the media. Biggie narrates, "The industry can turn your best friends into your worst enemies.."

Tupac Shakur gets killed in a driveby shooting in Las Vegas at the age of 25.

Biggie's mother comforts him by phone. "I saw [Tupac's] mother on tv. She is a strong woman...But no mother should have to bury her child."

Biggie later gets into a car accident and watches Richard Pryor's comedy on television, while he heals.

He has a revelation and tries to make a change. He visits his firstborn child (his daughter). He had also bore a son with Faith Evans. When he visits the old neighborhood, he observes that the woman that he once dealt drugs to while she was pregnant, has now cleaned up.

Biggie Smalls also evolves lyrically and narrates, "If the game makes me or breaks me, I hope it makes me a better man."

If the game makes or breaks me, I hope it makes me a better man.

— Biggie Smalls

Biggie decides to go to LA to promote his second album. With the tension of the East-West coast rivalry, his mother is concerned, but he is not afraid to go. He calls the mothers of his two children to reconcile and asks them to bring the children to LA for the album promotion. He also calls a third woman, his then current girlfriend (presumed to be Charlie Baltimore) to reconcile with her after an argument as well. He is still lovable to everyone despite everything.

He narrates, "All my life, I was trying to be a man. I felt like I didn't have to try anymore...My second album was about to drop and I felt like God was giving me a clean slate all over again"...

As portrayed in the film Notorious, that night in 1997, Biggie Smalls, The Notorious B.I.G. was killed in a driveby shooting at the age of 24. His body was flown back to his home in New York. There was an outpouring of love and support throughout New York City and for the funeral procession in Brooklyn, New York.

Ms. Wallace played by Angela Bassett, narrates,
"My son told stories [in his music].
Some of them were sad.
Some of them were violent.
But people listened."

With its fair share of artistic licensing as all films based on true life will have, this is an excellent portrayal chronicling the life of Christopher Wallace, Biggie Smalls. The film is notable as a tribute to Biggie Smalls aka The Notorious B.I.G.


I rate it 4/5 stars ****

Rated R
Directed by George Tillman Jr.
Written by Reggie Rock Bythewood and Cheo Hodari Coker
Executive Producer Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs
Other Producers include Voletta Wallace

Jamal Woolard as Christopher Wallace (Biggie)
Christopher Jordan Wallace as young Biggie
Angela Bassett as Voletta Wallace
Derek Luke as Sean 'Puffy' Combs
Naturi Naughton as Lil Kim
Anthony Mack as Tupac Shakur
Antonique Smith as Faith Evans

and others.

Notorious movie trailer

Notorious the movie

4 stars for Notorious the movie

© 2011 Nyesha Pagnou MPH


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)