New York City police detective John Shaft (nephew of the original 1970s detective) goes on a personal mission to make sure the son of a real estate tycoon is brought to justice after a racially-motivated murder.
Samuel L. Jackson,
Jimmy Kilmartin's an ex-con who's trying to go straight. But he can't say no to a quick driving job because his so called friend's life is threatened. The job is for Little Junior Brown, a violent and powerful villain. When things go wrong, Jimmy is left to do the time, and his whole life is turned upside-down, but if that wasn't enough, the cops won't leave Jimmy alone when he gets out... They want 'Little Junior' Written by
Rob Hartill, corrected by Lex Gustafsson
Ex-con Jimmy Kilmartin agrees to drive a truck of stolen cars as a favour to a friend. Whilst on the job he gets caught but refuses to role over on the others involved. Whilst in prison his wife is killed in a car crash and Jimmy leaves prison, bitter but with a determination to move on. However NYPD officer Calvin wants to use Kilmartin to get close to Little Junior Brown and get evidence to shut him down.
This was one of several vehicles that was planned to turn David Caruso from a TV hit to a big screen star - as we know, it didn't work out that way. However the story is pretty solid, it doesn't break new ground and there's nothing outside of the usual crime thriller plot to surprise you but it's really quite good. At times it's a little dull because it is so straight forward but it's mostly entertaining.
Caruso, for all his current lack of success, is actually very good. The problem is that he's good by doing the same "NY Irish tough but fair" role that he did in NYPD Blue, King of New York, Bodycount and most films he's done! It's good but I don't think he can do anything else. Jackson has presence as he always does and the support cast is really well filled out with people like Helen Hunt, Stanley Tucci, Rapaport, Philip Baker Hall, Ving Rhames. Nicolas Cage's Little Junior is a mixed bag. At some points he is effective but for the most part he's horribly OTT and hammy. His character is full of ticks and eccentricities that at the end of the day that's all Cage has to do.
Overall this is a solid thriller with no surprises. Caruso fans (like me) will like it regardless because it's Caruso doing his usual role. But others may not be so easily made to overlook the weaknesses.
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