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.
A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common; hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
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 »
When Shaft takes out Peoples, you can clearly see the pads protecting Peoples' knees as he falls to the ground. 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 »
I love this 1980s-style action flick, and watch it every time it is pops up on TV. Sam Jackson plays Shaft's nephew, a big-city cop trying to track down a reluctant witness to a racially motivated murder. The killer, played by a sinister, pre-BATMAN Christian Bale, is modeled on the New York preppie rapist (remember him?). He hires a low-level drug dealer (Jeffrey Wright) to track down the witness, a waitress (Toni Collette), and kill her. Shaft must find her before they do. Jackson is silky smooth, the action is right out of a DIE HARD or LETHAL WEAPON flick, and the landscape is populated by some great supporting players including Dan Hedaya as a corrupt cop and Vanessa Williams as a cop who has Shaft's back. The original Shaft, Richard Roundtree, even pops up a couple of times. This is one wild and funny ride that plays the way we prefer our action films to play. At times, it is a little thin on plot, but it keeps moving. No blood to speak of, just action, action and more action. And keep a close eye on Wright, a noted stage and screen actor. His soft-spoken drug lord tenderly holds a newborn baby at one moment and in the next pokes a knife into the neck of a terrified woman. He steals every scene he is in.
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