the original SHAFT was a beautiful homage to the "Hustla"; the slick superman having his own way with things, women and the law. The original Shaft, played by Richard Roundtree was so cool he even taught the italian mafiosi how to drink espresso ("You know what this is? This is an Expresso (sic) tell'em to put some garlic into it,you might like it")
Sam Jackson's SHAFT bears no resemblance to this smooth original. He's an old fascist cop making his way through the ghetto like Charles Bronson's controversial vigilante from the "Death Wish" films. BUT - SHAFT is no vigilante. He's the law. His violence is institutionalized. And the film celebrates it.
Although the main plot is a classic blaxploitation one : Black cop chasing a white sonofabi*ch (in this case a nazi murderer) ; it always gets mixed up with the subplot; SHAFTs personal war on a quite peaceful coke dealer named Peoples. The final showdown is NOT with the Nazi bad guy; but with Peoples : the only character that bears any resemblance to a classic blaxploitation hero. And Peoples gets killed, cold bloodedly by the avengeful Shaft. His last remark made; before Shaft guns him down is. "I am not your enemy. I'm Peoples" He's the people; and Shaft's at war with it.
Do see this film; and hate it.
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