‘Shaft’ Film Review: Old-School Swagger Meets Millennial Wokeness in Uneasy Crime-Comedy Mix

  • The Wrap
‘Shaft’ Film Review: Old-School Swagger Meets Millennial Wokeness in Uneasy Crime-Comedy Mix
It’s always a little awkward to reexamine a beloved older film so rooted in its own era that the chance of it seeming somewhat barbaric today is inevitable. But our current culture seeks not only to revisit our past through a nostalgic lens but also to confront how history has enabled some of the toxicity and broken systems we struggle to dismantle now.

Rarely, though, has that reckoning been approached by a male filmmaker — in this case Tim Story — who aims to explore how we engage with images and dialogue we’ve been accustomed to from a hard-partying, system-overthrowing, womanizing hero better known as Shaft.

Nearly 50 years ago, this titular renegade private eye, first played by Richard Roundtree, sauntered onto the big screen with his own badass theme song, knocking out racist white police officers and hooking up with every woman who crossed his path. That’s what he
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