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.
Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
Cool and deadly NYPD detective John Shaft arrests Walter Wade, Jr. in a racially-motivated slaying. The eye witness disappears, Wade jumps bail for Switzerland, and Shaft is livid. Two years later, Wade returns to face trial, confident his father's money and influence (and racial politics) guarantee an innocent verdict. Shaft looks hard for the witness, so Wade wants someone to kill her. He turns to a ghetto drug king, Peoples Hernandez, who's willing to kill for money, use Wade as a route to rich drug customers, and shaft Shaft. Can Shaft find the witness, convince her to testify, and shepherd her through the hail of bullets that Peoples is sure to let fly? Written by
"Shaft 2000" is a reasonable successor to the original Shaft of 29 years ago. The film shows restraint by keeping Shaft big, but not bigger than life, as it tries to be a human story first and an action flick second. Unfortunately, in spite of good performances (especially by Wright) and good production talent, the story fails on the human level and hedges on the obvious alternative of exaggerated good and bad guys and a profusion of gratuitous violence, sex, and action. Worth a watch but keep expectations low.
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