Rated 2.0

Christopher “Biggie” Wallace grew up a fat nerd in Brooklyn, became a rhyme-spitting, drug-dealing convict in his teens and went on to reinvent himself as rap superstar Notorious B.I.G. Biggie made millions glorifying his former criminal life on records, but ironically met his death because of a music industry-related beef. In telling his story on film, there is the potential to do something revelatory and exciting with the confusion of identity and performance in rap music—a hip-hop All That Jazz, maybe. But Notorious is produced by Sean “Puffy” Combs, so instead it plays like a glorified Behind the Music episode. Newcomer Jamal Woolard is good as Wallace, by turns sweet, scary and inspiring, but he’s abandoned by George Tillman Jr.’s pedestrian direction.