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.
New York Police Detective John Shaft is the lead detective on a sensitive case, a young black man is severely beaten. The man's companions tell Shaft that their friend humiliated the one who was sprouting racial slurs at him. Shaft confronts him and he says he's Walter Wade Jr. , the son of a wealthy man. Shaft finds that he has the id of a woman who's a waitress at the bar where Wade and the guy who was attacked were. When Wade continues to hurl racist comments, Shaft smacks him. Shaft later learns because of his actions Wade was granted bail and fled. Two years later, Wade returns and Shaft arrests him. At his hearing when the judge grants him bail, that's when Shaft throws his badge at the judge. He then sets out to get Wade by finding the waitress. Wade in the meantime asks a drug dealer named Peoples Hernandez to find the waitress and make sure she doesn't talk. Written by
According to an interview with Samuel L. Jackson, he and John Singleton often argued over the direction of the film. After one particular argument, Singleton refused to come out of his trailer. See more »
When Shaft takes out Peoples, you can clearly see the pads protecting Peoples' knees as he falls to the ground. See more »
I liked this one alot-fast moving, funny, crude, violent at times, has the same old 'sphagetti Western' shooting style where the baddie can't hit the broadside of a barn with 400 rounds while Shaft takes'em out one shot at a time, never misses. Enjoyed Jackson in this mucho, this is some fine work by a kinetic actor in his prime. Vanessa Williams is easy on the eyes and a smooth actress in her own right, plus you have to give this Jeffrey Wright guy credit for doing a bang up job as a Puerto Rican(!!) villain(with a heart, sorta...). Bale as the Menendez Brother from hell is effective too. I liked Richard Roundtree, Pat Hingle and Gordon Parks' cameos(look fast for him, as Mr. P in the bar!)
This one isn't meant to be taken too seriously, the car chases and shootouts are right outta anything Dirty Harry has done-but you know, John Singleton sez he intended for this to be a popcorn movie, and I agree, he has hit the bullseye with this.
And that Isaac Hayes score, gotta love it!
*** outta ****, go see it and have fun.
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