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
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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