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
I went to see this movie expecting to see a big-budget remake of the original Shaft, and I got it.
This version is a lot more violent than the original, it didn't seem to be in Shaft's style. The pacing and editing in the first half of the movie were fast and smooth. John Singleton did a great job in establishing Shaft's character and the plot. During the second half of the movie (when the action really begins), however, the movie starts to lose it's original slickness.
Samuel L. Jackson is truly a great Shaft, he's probably the only actor out there (besides the great Richard Roundtree) who could pull this off, and he does an excellent job. This time around, though, we don't really see Shaft's "Ladies' Man" side, except for a couple of innuendoes with minor characters. Like I said, Jackson's Shaft is a little too violent (even for a desensitized, Tarantino fan like me). Christian Bale, after playing a cold,rich, psychopathic killer in "American Psycho", plays a...cold, rich, psychopathic killer. He's perfect in his ability to make us feel absolutely no compassion for him. It's impossible not to mention Bustah Rhymes in a small but great role as Shaft's driver/assistant. He provides some of the comic relief, taking some strain off of Jackson.
I thoroughly enjoyed Isaac Hayes' Oscar-Winning theme, which plays throughout the movie.
This Shaft is a great movie for anyone who's a fan of the original, Sam Jackson, or great action movies in general.
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