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,
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The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.
Millie Bobby Brown
JJ, aka John Shaft Jr. (Usher), may be a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend's untimely death, he needs an education only his dad can provide. Absent throughout JJ's youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate Harlem's heroin-infested underbelly. And while JJ's own FBI analyst's badge may clash with his dad's trademark leather coat, there's no denying family. Besides, Shaft's got an agenda of his own, and a score to settle that's professional and personal.
In Shaft (2000), Richard Roundtree's John Shaft I was referred to as John Shaft II (Samuel L. Jackson)'s uncle. In the 2019 reboot, John Shaft I is John Shaft II's father. See more »
The opening scenes were set in 1984 yet there are multiple modern cars seen in the background. See more »
Please tell me that you did not get our son involved in your bullshit!
See more »
Midway through the end credits, a hip-hop song abruptly stops, we hear a radio scanning, and then it lands in the middle of an old-school R&B ballad. This is a callback to a scene earlier in the film when Jackson changes the station on the car radio. See more »
Were you the one clamoring for a sequel to the year 2000 Samuel L. Jackson SHAFT (the sequel to the original 1971 Richard Roundtree SHAFT)? Did you remember there WAS a 2000 version of SHAFT? Do you remember the 1971 SHAFT?
The makers of this film certainly don't remember those films for - besides casting Jackson and Roundtree - there is no similarity to either of these films.
The first SHAFT was a Blacksploitation film starring Roundtree with mucho gunfire and bloodshed and SHAFT 2000 (as I'll call it) is a full on action flick with Jackson as Roundtree's nephew fighting crime. SHAFT 2019 is none of these - the Samuel L. Jackson Shaft is now the SON of Richard Roundtree and partners with his son JJ ,John Shaft, Jr. (played by Jessie T. Usher) to investigate the death of his friend.
Okay...fine. I can forgive the change in tone and the "tweak" (I'm being generous) to the timeline. What I can't forgive is the weak script (why write any good, or interesting, dialogue when we can have all of the characters say Samuel L. Jackson's signature motherf*^#er over and over) by 3 different writers (never a good sign) that were all, clearly, just in it for the paycheck.
Jessie T. Usher (he played Will Smith's son in the also ill-advised sequel to INDEPENDENCE DAY) is a bland lead with no gravitas and no swagger that starts out young and naive and is supposed to develop (under the tutelage of his father) street smarts but, really, just becomes annoying.
Regina Hall (GIRLS TRIP), Titus Welliver (BOSCH), Method Man (!) and Luna Lauren Velez (DEXTER) are all sleepwalking through underwritten roles just counting the minutes until they can take their paychecks to the bank.
At the heart of all of this "missed opportunities" is Director Tim Story (RIDE ALONG) he directs this film like he has someplace else to be, never missing an opportunity to be obvious (for example, JJ's friend - Karim - who's death sparks what passes for a plot in this film - might as well be walking around with a "Dead Man Walking" sign on him). Story's direction is lazy (and that's doing injustice to the word lazy) and obvious with no spark of ingenuity or imagination to be found.
And then there's Samuel L. Jackson as SHAFT. He defines the term "sleepwalking through the picture" looking bored and uninterested throughout and HE'S THE BEST THING IN THE FILM! Thank goodness his charisma and charm ooze out of him without really trying - for he didn't really try here.
Save 2 hours of your life - skip SHAFT - you'll be glad you did.
Letter Grade: C
4 Stars (out of 10) and you can take this to the Bank(ofMarquis)
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