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 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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