When Shaft finds out that a dead friend ran a numbers racket out of his legitimate business and left $200,000 unaccounted for, he knows why he has suddenly found himself in the middle of a war between rival thugs. These goons are all trying to take over the territory of the dead man as well as get their hands on the missing 200 grand. Shaft has all he can handle trying to track down the money and, at the same time, keep his friend's sister from the clutches of the hoods.Written by
Gordon Parks the films director composed the score for this film and is drastically different than the one written by Issac Hayes in the original film. Parks influence on this film is based work on the legendary jazz pianist Duke Ellington and it is noticeable in several cues including the one written for the films' signature chase sequence which runs nearly 20 minutes that ends the film. See more »
In one scene, the rotor-blades of a helicopter just finish winding down. In the next several scenes, the rotor-blades are still rotating. See more »
My Take: Fine Harlem-set thriller with a thrilling climax.
Richard Roundtree returns as the black foul-mouthed private eye John Shaft, reprising the role he made famous in the previous film SHAFT. Made in 1972, SHAFT'S BIG SCORE clearly shows its age as an old star vehicle. Almost everything, from clothing, quips and concept, have been outdated by today's bigger standards. Still, there's much to enjoy in Roundtree's iconic portrayal as the private eye Shaft as he gets tangled up with the mob, led by gangster Gus Mascola (Joseph Mascolo).
So much of the film is devoted to a lot of mob meetings and Shaft at his private eye work, and less comes the action. Up until the finale, a terrific long helicopter chase, the film is devoted to Ernest Tidyman's (THE FRENCH CONNECTION) well-written if often tedious screenplay. Long out-dated and outdone by better anti-Bond cop movies as DIRTY HARRY and THE FRENCH CONNECTION which still stood the test of time. Still, SHAFT'S BIG SCORE! is an enjoyable caper, Roundtree and the action finale delights.
Rating: *** out of 5.
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