Based on the movies of the same name, John Shaft is a two-fisted black private eye along the lines of Mike Hammer and Phillip Marlowe. Each week presents a different case and a different ... See full summary »
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.
Samuel L. Jackson,
John Shaft is persuaded by threats of physical force, the promise of money, and the lure of a pretty tutor, to assume the identity of a native-speaking itinerant worker in Africa. His job is to help break a racket that is smuggling immigrants into Europe then exploiting them. But the villains have heard that he is on his way.Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Shaft's previous adventure, Shaft's Big Score, ended with a James Bond style high speed chase scene involving cars, a speedboat and a helicopter, with lots of shooting and explosions; this, the third and final outing for Richard Roundtree's private investigator, sees our super-cool hero recruited to go undercover in Africa to break up a slavery ring, and is even more like a Bond movie, featuring an international mission, an evil villain (played with relish by Frank Finlay), high-tech gadgetry, sexy women, and a finale that sees an assault on the baddies' French château fortress.
Although undeniably more comic book in nature than the previous two Shaft movies, Shaft in Africa remains very adult in nature, with a high level of nudity, sex and violence as Shaft beats, kills and shags his way across the dark continent towards Europe. Some of the more explicit content includes a rather frank conversation about female circumcision, the senseless death of an innocent pooch, and villain Amafi's nymphomaniac girlfriend Jazar (Neda Arneric) becoming sexually aroused while watching black workmen digging up a road (she also questions Shaft about the size of his phallus, who eventually satisfies her curiosity by shagging her).
Directed with zest by John Guillerman, a film-maker well versed in African adventures (he previously helmed two Tarzan movies and war movie Guns at Batasi, and would go on to make Sheena Queen of the Jungle), Shaft in Africa is a fun film that moves along at a more than reasonable pace with plenty of action. It is, however, a far cry from the seedy world of pimps, pushers and prostitutes that one usually associates with the blaxploitation genre. As such, it failed to satisfy existing fans of the character, was a failure at the box office, and signalled the end of the franchise.
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