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.
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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
John Singleton's original idea was for the main character to be the son of John Shaft and that the two Shafts would work together. But no studio was willing to finance the project. Paramount producer Scott Rudin demanded the character to be changed to be Shaft's nephew and for Richard Roundtree's participation to be reduced. See more »
During the gunfight in front of Diane's house, one of Peoples' thugs is seen firing a nickel-plated Beretta pistol at Shaft. The thug pulls the trigger numerous times, but the slide clearly locks back after the first shot, indicating that the gun is empty. See more »
[Walter Wade Jr. walks into Peoples' house, trying to look cool]
You tryin' to blend in or something? You look like a fucking duck hunter.
See more »
Based on the original 1970's film of the same name, the nephew of detective John Shaft is out to find the eyewitness of a racially motivated murder, but has disappeared without trace. After Walter Wade, played by Christian Bale, jumps bail Shaft must find the witness to have justice prevail. This is maybe not the most original concept and the film suffers slightly because of it.
Director, John Singleton does a fairly good job of recreating the feeling of the original, particularly in the first half. However it lacks the edge that is needed to compliment the typically good performance by Jackson as the nephew of original star Richard Roundtree. Partly due to this the film begins to lose the slickness of the original in the second half and the plot appears to take second stage to the excess violence and action.
Shaft isn't a classic by any means and it makes for an average action crime flick. It's main saving grace is Jackson's cool performance as John Shaft.
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