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Parents' Guide to

Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Docu on hip-hop greats has frequent cursing, drugs.

Movie NR 2007 79 minutes
Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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While the first half of this documentary provides a decent overview of one of hip-hop's all-time greats, the second half loses focus. This lack of focus is to be expected in some ways when trying to tell a story of nine disparate performers working and performing together collectively and individually, but the result is unsatisfying. This is further compounded by what feels like limited access to footage, limited access to those in and around the group, and the sense that the material and story hit a little too close to home for the director, Gerald Barclay (aka "Gee-Bee," who directed their "Protect Ya Neck" video), who allowed the story of nine to become the story of one -- namely, Ol' Dirty Bastard and his struggles, imprisonment, and early death.

The story of the Wu-Tang Clan couldn't possibly be comprehensively told in a short feature-length documentary. It would require several volumes, similar in structure to several-hour documentaries on the Eagles and Tom Petty. It would need the full cooperation of everyone involved, a project that would both answer the questions of the lifelong fans and provide an introduction and overview of what happened for the casual viewer. Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan partially meets this demand, but still leaves a lot unanswered.

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