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  • Thirty years is a long time to wait to make a sequel, especially when no one is clamoring for one. Director/Writer/Producer John Singleton decided it was about time. The result is a solid, but undistinguished crime drama. The elements of this story have been told so many times that they are becoming hackneyed. A tough, no-nonsense cop fights evil and corruption to bring justice to the streets while often disregarding the law. A spoiled rich kid is trying to get away with murder by hiring a drug dealer to snuff an eyewitness with the help of a couple of dirty cops. This is not vanguard material.

    Singleton's direction is good in the action sequences (of which there are plenty) and adequate in the dramatic scenes. In this film, he doesn't bring much innovation to the screen, with very straightforward shots and mundane locations. In an overly reverent gesture to the original film, he brings back Richard Roundtree (the original Shaft) as the current Shaft's (Samuel L. Jackson) uncle and mentor. There is also a cameo appearance by Gordon Parks, the director of the original, and of course, Isaac Hayes theme song is back.

    The film is elevated from mediocrity by the acting. Samuel L. Jackson is an outstanding actor and slips on the character of this tough, streetwise cop like a tailored glove. When he's bad, he's very very bad and when he is good, he's almost saintly. Christian Bale also gives a fine performance as the despicable rich kid who thinks his wealth puts him above the law. Jeffrey Wright is explosive as the egomaniac drug lord. The supporting actors are also excellent.

    This is an entertaining film despite its lack of originality. I rated it a 7/10. Action junkies add a point or two. This film is extremely violent with a high body count.
  • Willy-7320 June 2000
    I went to see this movie expecting to see a big-budget remake of the original Shaft, and I got it.

    This version is a lot more violent than the original, it didn't seem to be in Shaft's style. The pacing and editing in the first half of the movie were fast and smooth. John Singleton did a great job in establishing Shaft's character and the plot. During the second half of the movie (when the action really begins), however, the movie starts to lose it's original slickness.

    Samuel L. Jackson is truly a great Shaft, he's probably the only actor out there (besides the great Richard Roundtree) who could pull this off, and he does an excellent job. This time around, though, we don't really see Shaft's "Ladies' Man" side, except for a couple of innuendoes with minor characters. Like I said, Jackson's Shaft is a little too violent (even for a desensitized, Tarantino fan like me). Christian Bale, after playing a cold,rich, psychopathic killer in "American Psycho", plays a...cold, rich, psychopathic killer. He's perfect in his ability to make us feel absolutely no compassion for him. It's impossible not to mention Bustah Rhymes in a small but great role as Shaft's driver/assistant. He provides some of the comic relief, taking some strain off of Jackson.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Isaac Hayes' Oscar-Winning theme, which plays throughout the movie.

    This Shaft is a great movie for anyone who's a fan of the original, Sam Jackson, or great action movies in general.
  • Buddy-5113 January 2001
    Samuel L. Jackson seems to be having the time of his movie acting life portraying the title character in `Shaft,' John Singleton's take on the groundbreaking classic that, on its release in 1971, served as the blueprint for all the `blaxploitation' films that filled theatres throughout the early and mid 1970's. Unfortunately, the concept of a rogue black cop, defying the rules and doing things his own way, is not as fresh as it was back in the time of the original film, so this new version of `Shaft' has less to recommend it. Still, it is an efficient police procedural, filled with crowd-pleasing moments of adrenalin-pumping melodrama, hissable villains and a wisecracking, kickass hero who seems virtually indestructible – just the way we like our heroes to be in a movie like this.

    Singleton pays affectionate homage to the original film in many ways. Jackson actually plays the nephew of the original Shaft and, indeed, Richard Roundtree makes a cameo appearance early on in the film as Jackson's seasoned mentor. Singleton wisely uses the original Isaac Hayes recording of the hit song as background for the film's opening credit sequence and backs up many of the action scenes with an impressive instrumental interpretation as well.

    The story offers little that is new for this particular genre whose films often rise or fall based on the quality of the foils against whom the hero must ultimately contend. Luckily, the filmmakers are blessed with not just one but two impressive villains – Jeffrey Wright as Peoples Hernandez, a tough talking thug who wants to expand out of the little neighborhood kingdom he has established into the big time of upper class drug dealing, and Christian Bale as Walter Wade, Jr., the racist, spoiled-brat son of a New York City magnate whose hate crime killing of an innocent black man sets the plot in motion and serves as fodder for Shaft's personal vendetta. Bale proves definitively that the quality of subtle, soul-cringing evil he brought to his role in `American Psycho' was no fluke and that he can be as effective in a big budget extravaganza like this one as he is in a smaller scale, far more quirky work like `Psycho.' Vanessa Williams, on the other hand, who plays Shaft's partner and who is almost unrecognizable buried under a dark beret, fails to distinguish herself either in her role or in her performance.

    Then we have Mr. Jackson himself. Here is a man who slides so effortlessly into the role that, despite the absurdity and incredibility of much that is going on around him, we never question the film's veracity for a moment. Whether tossing off wisecracks, shooting at unarmed criminals, pounding defenseless suspects into insensibility or consoling distraught witnesses, Shaft remains forever a hero, acting out the impulses we in the audience feel but are never able to fully act upon in our daily lives. Thus, this new `Shaft' works best as simpleminded good vs. evil melodrama – and even the most sophisticated movie watcher can use a bit of that once in a while.
  • Shaft (2000)

    This comes so far after the original "Shaft" in 1971 you might hesitate to call it a sequel. It's more like a revival, or a nostalgic time trip. Except that it's all been updated nicely, with a feeling of the original sassiness intact. And the Isaac Hayes music is central, and terrific, making this a legit Shaft movie.

    Samuel Jackson plays the role perfectly, not pulling back and not overdoing it. The idea of a black cop in a city that still has racial biases, in this case emphasizing the rise of Latino drug lords as part of the fracturing, is mainstreamed here. It's not as daring or shocking to see this pushed forward, but it's still effective. Shaft, the main character (who never seems to have a first name), is powerful, smart, and unwilling to be pushed around by authority. Even if it means losing his job (or quitting--Shaft is always the one making his own choices).

    The director, John Singleton, is not especially well positioned for a mainstream sequel with high production values (his one famous effort to date is "Boyz n the Hood"), but he pulls it off. This is a snappy, smart, well made movie. It's oddly mainstream, playing with clichés too easily, working with bad guy good guy tenets adding only the minor twist of racial or ethnic alliances, though even these we've seen before. You can't help but see "Jackie Brown" from three years earlier as a far more interesting, well made, and timely movie. That one was by Quentin Tarantino, which changes the score a bit, but it starred Jackson, again, and makes the most of him.

    You might say Singleton makes the most of Jackson here, too, but a better way to look at it is that Jackson makes the most of Singleton. He takes over the movie, and it's a good thing. He has talent and presence in a classic Hollywood acting way. The cast around him is really strong, which is nice. (There is a cameo by the original director of the 1971 "Shaft," Gordon Parks, in a bar scene, if you are lucky--a white haired older black man at the table.)

    The other terrific actor is Jeffrey Wright, playing a drug king with enough realism and panache to make it real and glitzy both. The third main character is the future Batman, Christian Bale, who is a great bad guy and who you actually miss in the last parts of the movie.

    What really brings this down to earth, and too much so, is the story, which is boilerplate stuff. There is machismo, and guns, and a play of one bad guy against another, and one cop against another. You might say, hey, isn't there room for more cop and crime movies that work in familiar circles? Yes. But I again refer to "Jackie Brown" as a way to see out of this box.

    This new "Shaft" is good stuff--it's well acted, tightly edited, directed with professional canny (noticeable in lots of different ways), and brings up racial clichés in a fun and even important way. It descends by the last third into overused chase and shoot scenes between cops and robbers.'s better than its reputation, for sure. I say see it. Enjoy the attitudes. The acting. And the homage to the original.
  • ctomvelu16 October 2010
    I love this 1980s-style action flick, and watch it every time it is pops up on TV. Sam Jackson plays Shaft's nephew, a big-city cop trying to track down a reluctant witness to a racially motivated murder. The killer, played by a sinister, pre-BATMAN Christian Bale, is modeled on the New York preppie rapist (remember him?). He hires a low-level drug dealer (Jeffrey Wright) to track down the witness, a waitress (Toni Collette), and kill her. Shaft must find her before they do. Jackson is silky smooth, the action is right out of a DIE HARD or LETHAL WEAPON flick, and the landscape is populated by some great supporting players including Dan Hedaya as a corrupt cop and Vanessa Williams as a cop who has Shaft's back. The original Shaft, Richard Roundtree, even pops up a couple of times. This is one wild and funny ride that plays the way we prefer our action films to play. At times, it is a little thin on plot, but it keeps moving. No blood to speak of, just action, action and more action. And keep a close eye on Wright, a noted stage and screen actor. His soft-spoken drug lord tenderly holds a newborn baby at one moment and in the next pokes a knife into the neck of a terrified woman. He steals every scene he is in.
  • I liked this one alot-fast moving, funny, crude, violent at times, has the same old 'sphagetti Western' shooting style where the baddie can't hit the broadside of a barn with 400 rounds while Shaft takes'em out one shot at a time, never misses. Enjoyed Jackson in this mucho, this is some fine work by a kinetic actor in his prime. Vanessa Williams is easy on the eyes and a smooth actress in her own right, plus you have to give this Jeffrey Wright guy credit for doing a bang up job as a Puerto Rican(!!) villain(with a heart, sorta...). Bale as the Menendez Brother from hell is effective too. I liked Richard Roundtree, Pat Hingle and Gordon Parks' cameos(look fast for him, as Mr. P in the bar!)

    This one isn't meant to be taken too seriously, the car chases and shootouts are right outta anything Dirty Harry has done-but you know, John Singleton sez he intended for this to be a popcorn movie, and I agree, he has hit the bullseye with this.

    And that Isaac Hayes score, gotta love it!

    *** outta ****, go see it and have fun.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This review is written as a defence of John Singleton's 'homage' to the 2000 edition of Shaft. The majority of people that I know (6 in all) use similar terms when referring to it: average, mediocre, I-hate-Busta-Rhymes etcetera. However, it actually isn't average or mediocre at all (although Busta Rhymes is indeed a complete tool.) Sure, the story is linear, predictable and doesn't bring anything new to a tired genre (Racial injustice! Rogue cops! Black attitude!) but one has to see past that to the performances, because that's where the real gold lies. Well, three performances to be precise. First, Samuel L. Jackson. Though his roles may lack a certain amount of vicissitude, they are always entertaining. And he seems to restrain himself as the "sex machine to all the chicks." He doesn't actually have sex at all throughout the film, which I see as a good thing. As Shaft, he receives most of the animated and colourful dialogue, kills the most bad guys technically murder seeing as he resigns from the police force at the beginning), and gets to wear nine different varieties of the same jacket, all the while looking effortlessly cool. Plus he throws a police badge into a wall... really fast! Second, Christian Bale. It is no secret that Bale is now objectively the best actor of his generation, but come the dawn of the new millennium he had yet to present himself to a wider audience. Unfortunately, Shaft failed to do so too. However, is performance is superb. Following on from his equivocal turn as Norman Bates in American Psycho (2000), Bale continues his villainous streak as Walter Wade, Jr, a truly horrible character whose racial attack in a restaurant provides the basis for the story. Really the only word that can describe Wade is "a$$hole" and Bale plays this role perfectly. It is rare that one could despise a character this much and that is what makes him so fun to watch.

    Third, Jeffrey Wright. If Shaft had had a better storyline and been more popular, Wright's portrayal of drug dealer/gang leader Peoples Hernandez would have been his magnum opus. His type of method acting is similar to that of Bale's, and to see them square off against one another is THE principal reason for watching, especially when Wright stabs Bale in the hand. Exciting and bloody. Wright provides entertainment in every scene, whether through his exaggerated walk, his bastardisation of the English language or simply a facial movement. Plus, he induces an element of sympathy for Peoples after his brother is killed at the hands of Shaft (of course) and provokes the audience into wondering whether his eventual demise was really justified. Really, the film should have been called 'Peoples' and he should have had three sequels.

    So there it is. A short and unconvincing advocate of Shaft based on three exemplary performances. Oh, and it features Lynne Thigpen, who played the DJ in The Warriors (1979) and as The Warriors is an excellent and highly realistic depiction of New York in the seventies... that means Shaft is also worth watching? Yes it does.
  • An enjoyable but nevertheless quite silly and average remake of the classic television show has the new John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson) beating up a white racist (Christian Bale) and getting booted off of the police force. Everyone in this film is a racist - primarily the whites - and this whole idea is way too forced. The language and violence is rough, yet the film itself is quite goofy, with not many good scenes and only a few mediocre action sequences. The moral is somewhat depressing: if someone wrongs you, or someone of your race, then beat them up and kill them once they reappear. Richard Roundtree's cameo helps a bit, but regardless, this SHAFT is still only "good" at best.

    2.5/5 stars.
  • "Shaft 2000" is a reasonable successor to the original Shaft of 29 years ago. The film shows restraint by keeping Shaft big, but not bigger than life, as it tries to be a human story first and an action flick second. Unfortunately, in spite of good performances (especially by Wright) and good production talent, the story fails on the human level and hedges on the obvious alternative of exaggerated good and bad guys and a profusion of gratuitous violence, sex, and action. Worth a watch but keep expectations low.
  • I was surprised that I liked this remake of "Shaft" as much as I did. It has a wonderful ensemble cast, which included Toni Collette, Christian Bale, and the terrific, Jeffrey Wright. All of them are allowed to bring their considerable acting chops to their roles, especially Bale as a Hateful Rich White Boy from central casting, and Wright as a simultaneously hilarious and scary gangster. Samuel L. Jackson plays, well, Samuel L. Jackson, this time cast as Shaft, a tall, tough, elegant black dude who looks like Samuel L. Jackson – not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Don't expect deathless art here but do expect to be entertained. It's one of those movies that is so politically incorrect it makes you gasp while you are laughing. There are lots of explosions, gore, and chases, both afoot and in cars, and it all happens in little more than 90 minutes. It's a lot of fun, highly recommended.
  • Is it better than original?

    Frankly, I don't know, since i missed the original, so I can only rate this one by enjoyment i got during the watch.

    Sadly, there was very little enjoyable parts. Firstly, the plot is very weakly...Sincerly, I couldn't get rid of a feeling that's all about the black&white racist issue and the fact that the problem could be solved without blowing half a New York doesn't count here. O.k. forget that and go to more enjoyable parts... ...First the music. The sound theme is one of the best I heard and really helps this movie. Secondly, some strong roles. Jeffrey Wright (a.k.a. Peoples) is great and almost steal the show from Samuel L. Jackson (a.k.a. Shaft), also is "American Psycho" Christian Bale (as Walter), at the end almost likable character, for which you almost fell sorry.

    But, all in all the con's are bigger than pro's, especially because of above mentioned racism, that's why a weak

    5 out of 10.
  • yak200030 April 2000
    SHAFT is back and in a big way. Sam Jackson is perfect as the tall, smart-mouth, tough your mouth! The audience went crazy. Cheering and laughing aloud. They loved it and so will the rest of America.

    It is a little too violent in my opinion. But there are nice performances, especially from the Cuban new-comer actor who played the nemesis in it. A nice cameo from the original Shaft.

    They should have left the tag line "Watch your mouth" as in the original, instead of what they used to "modernize" it, which didn't have quite the impact it could have.

    And that was a nice star-making role for the Cuban actor.

    It's actually a great cross-over movie. In other words even white people will like it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    While the trailers and commercials for this movie made it look really good, this movie itself is a POS that is openly racist against white people and the plot itself is nothing more than African American revenge. Samuel L. Jackson's worst role ever.

    1) The villain is a loser white guy who everybody, throughout the entire movie, hates and pushes around, be it the common drunk in the bar, his dad or his partner in crime. In one scene, a black man enters the bar (with a bunch of white chick sycophants no less) and everybody cheers for him. Then our villain white guy makes some vague racist comment and everybody, I mean, every single one in the bar, boos him and try to sooth the black guy whos been insulted. Nothing wrong with that but that way its been portrayed in the movie is so un-subtle, so explicit and is ridiculously intentional. Then the black guy approaches the white guy, almost as if hes gonna beat him up, instead makes two holes in a napkin and puts it on the white guys head as in KKK! YuK YuK YuK. Then everybody, I mean, everybody, once again starts laughing so hard and cheering for our black hero for his oh so innovative come back at the white racist. The white villain is so humiliated that he kills the black guy and absconds.

    2) Shaft beats up the villain's white ass and takes him to court. Bad guy uses influence to get bail. Everybody, I mean, every single freaking one who can be seen, cries and boos in disappointment. Shaft resigns by embarrassingly throwing his badge at the judge.

    3) The rest of the plot is about Shaft trying to locate an eyewitness, brotha style, beating up white boys along the way.

    4) The white guy is shot in the end by the black martyr's mom. More attempts at drama gone bad.

    I'm not even white myself but this movie is so explicitly racist that anyone of any race would find it an utter embarrassment to watch. All the drama of blaxploitation is so fake and so insincere that it makes me want to puke. There are no redeeming qualities about this movie too. The action sucks and the dialogue, trying to be badass, is utterly embarrassing. One of the worst movies ever made.

    0/10 stars.
  • "a low down dirty shame" - that's the name of the movie this movie was based on, originally directed & starring Keenan Wayans (1994). But that film is as much comedy as action film. This is... well, obviously, Samuel Jackson wanted to show that he could play "black"; but I don't know who ever doubted that.

    The original Shaft suffered from a lack of proper pacing, due largely to the editor's uncertainty as to where that film was going.

    This film suffers from the fact that - being a borrowed story all around - the story itself isn't sure where it's going.

    Well, it's nice to see Richard roundtree on the big screen again - a wholly underrated and type-cast actor, he deserves more and better roles.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Contains spoilers

    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.
  • RIK-2223 April 2002
    Warning: Spoilers
    I was very surprised to read a number of positive reviews on this list.

    Shaft is unfortunately typical of the new modern action movie, Face off, The Rock, Con Air, etc. Basically a ludicrously stupid plot with the beyond impossible happening, yet plenty of explosions and the good guys winning through against the odds.

    Before I go on, I have to mention Robert Havard's review. To claim that Titanic and Saving Private Ryan are masterpiece's is bad enough, but Shaft, are you joking.

    Fortunately I saw the movie on TV, so I didn't waste any money and I actually turned off before the end, as the plot was pointless. The problem with this movie and the others I have mentioned is you have to have some kind of realism. Dirty Harry, although it stretched the limit slightly, it still remained a solid film with very believable characters. Shaft is Judge Dredd, he can beat up and kill whoever he wants, break numerous laws and yet is liked and supported by the Police. The Police who help him, for some bizarre loyalty, obviously have no other crimes to deal with, so just spend there time helping Shaft harass and murder anyone he pleases.


    The first scene, now, in front of about 20 people the ‘bad guy' is openly antagonistic and racist, he then follows the victim outside on a major street and beats him to death. Now, you're telling me that there was only one witness. Anyway, Shaft then punches the ‘bad guy' twice in front of his superiors and the TV cameras, so Shaft would have been arrested on the spot, put in prison, sued and certainly wouldn't be allowed back on the Police force.

    Next scene, Shaft sees an alleged criminal eating his dinner, so he then assaults this man with a basketball and arrests him for no reason. Hmmm, lawsuit, discipline procedures. Now if I tell you both these incidences are just the tip of the iceberg, you can see where the film goes from there. Shaft then goes on to murder a number of other people as a civilian, with the backing of the local Police force. I think a riot would ensue.

    Anyway as I said I didn't get any further.

    I can only assume the people liking these types of movies, just violence and eye candy, no story or plausibility, are 14 years old and under or people who are much less demanding than me.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Overall: Pretty bad movie and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I was very bored and it is just not a good movie. Definitely skip it.

    Good: Samuel Jackson and Christian Bale do good jobs with what they have throughout the movie. Some other minor characters did a good job also. I really liked the music and thought it blended well with the more 80's cop side of the movie.

    Bad: The movie feels pointless due to the 'shock' ending twist which makes me feel as if I had wasted my time watching it. It is good to see him punished but I would have preferred for him to see the inside of a cell. The characters are just sheer unlikeable or you don't care or they have no real motivations. It also don't feel like it knows what it is. One side you've got the goofy 80's cop show feel with groovy music and cheesy dialogue while on the other side you've got the uber serious story featuring themes of race and discrimination. Not to say that serious comedies can't work but if that was the intention it was done abysmally. The action scenes were horrific and just bored me throughout them, especially the final climax. The movie tried to cram in too many characters when a protagonist, antagonist and 1-2 cop buddies would have sufficed. Also unless I missed the scene in which he rejoins the police force then I refuse to let it slide that he broke the law numerous times and got away with it.

    Best Part: The opening 20 minutes were they catch Bale made me interested in the story and were they could take it but that interest was short lived.

    MVP: Samuel Jackson as John Shaft

  • For me, the old bad-attitude-cop-turned-investigator routine is getting boring. Shaft is just this, it doesn't provide any new twists to an old character. The movie could be good for TV not for theaters. However, it was entertaining.
  • What have you done, John Singleton? You went from "Boyz N the Hood" (one of the best movies EVER made by a freshman director) and "Higher Learning" (flawed, but still a good film at the end of the day) to a movie that was unnecessary, excessive, and profoundly stupid. You quarreled with your star (Samuel L. Jackson) and botched the character development of 2 of the best actors in films, in Jeffrey Wright and Christian Bale. Unoriginal to the Nth degree, this is a terrible remake, and is a time waster. If you want the real deal, stick to the Richard Roundtree original. Vanessa L. Williams, Dan Hedaya, Toni Collette, Mekhi Phifer, Busta Rhymes, and Lee Tergesen all show up for this dud, and my one hope is that they were paid well for appearing in this steaming pile of !@%%^^$#@!
  • Racist cop John Shaft (again the over rated Sam Jackson) thinks that he can break all the rules and beat up innocent people, well, this movie is a bit of something absurd. The direction is terrible, the action sequences are cliched and the "black brother" message doesn't really make sense because it falls flat. I would avoid this mess unless of course you are someone who feels that violence is necessary against innocent civilians.....
  • When i first saw commercials for Shaft I thought it looked great. But when I saw it i was sorely mistaken. It made me sick to my stomach that people watched it and actually enjoyed it. I saw no attraction whatsoever. Characters you didnt care about, a stupid plot that has been done over and over and over and over. And even Samuel L. Jackson (who is a personal favorite of mine) sucked in it. Spouting off cheesy catch phrases in an attempt to sound like "the man". Well, Shaft is not the man, and shame on anyone who thought he was.
  • Singleton's homage and modern day Shaft is an entertaining movie. Its not perfect, definitely flawed, from Wright's hilarious performances as People Hernandez, to the lines Samuel L. Jackson uses, to the whole feel of it, at times it did feel like a long sitcom. However it is always entertaining and exciting, and thats more than i can say for some other movies. I thought the cast did well, and basically saved Singleton, as the film seemed put together kind of lazy and rode the reputations of those involved. Still, it was a good movie, and i think its worth a look. Jeffrey Wright has some hilarious lines like "this is Italian leather, worth more than half your shitty paycheck" to the cops. hahaIMDb Rating: 5.9- MY Rating: 8/10
  • STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

    Just under 30 years after the Richard Roundtree original was released,this classy but foul-mouthed and extremely violent remake comes.Samuel L. Jackson is well cast in the titular leading role,and has a surprisingly small age difference between himself and Roundtree,who played the original and has a small role here as Shaft's uncle.And the Isaac Hayes theme tune remains one of the most funky,invigorating tracks ever.Where the movie falls short however,is in the plot department.Though clearly outlined,it is still told in a very incoherent manner,with one event not really lining up to the next.Still,it's really faithful and well-updated to modern times,and the action will keep you glued.***
  • Shaft is an action/crime film starring good ol' Samuel L. Jackson as the titular character, a disgruntled cop that seeks justice after being assigned to a case of a hate crime perpetuated by Walter Wade Jr., the son of a wealthy man played by Christian Bale, who acts calmly knowing that he won't be punished because of his father's money that certainly lets him get away with murder, to the outrage of everyone, especially Shaft. After the judge sets the bail, Shaft becomes enraged and swears he will catch Wade even if he has to do it outside the law. At some point a drug lord named Peoples Hernandez (Jeffrey Wright) gets involved in the plot, providing a new enemy for Shaft and an ally for Wade. Samuel L. Jackson delivers a top-notch performance, as usual. Christian Bale really knows how to pull off a villain, as he seems threatening in most of the screen time he is given, altough one might argue that is just a small echo from his previous big villain role in American Psycho (2000). Jeffrey Wright is also a stand-out as he provides a magnificent performance as the menacing drug lord Peoples Hernandez. Overall the action was pretty solid and engaging; there were some twists and turns that if you weigh them on a scale putting the positive on the one side and the negative on the other, I'd say that there is a balance that is slightly turning heavier on the negative side. There were some scenes that just didn't make sense, for example: an infuriated Shaft throws his badge and nearly hits the judge and gets no punishment? People in movies have been held in contempt gor a lot less. Wade goes into a rough neighborhood unaccompanied with a bag full of cash? Ridiculous. Besides, I felt that the ending was a way for the writers to wrap the story up really quick, leaving a sensation of rush and abruptness. In this case for me, quick equals lazy. Really, that ending was disappointing and faulty. But you be the judge, I still found an entertaining movie that heavily relies on the acting to be barely sustainable, because without Samuel L. Jackson, Jeffrey Wright and Christian Bale, I would have probably given this movie a 5 star rating. Oh, am I forgetting something? Yes! Isaac Hayes' theme song is back, although we know that the lyrics talk about Shaft and his women, but there were no women to be found around Shaft on this movie (besides Carmen Vazquez, played by Vanessa Williams). And Busta Rhymes kills it as the comic relief and Shaft's trusting friend, Rasaan.
  • This movie proves that the "it can't be bad if _______is in it" idea is a lie.

    Even the great Samuel L. Jackson can't carry this turd. He's perfect for the part, but the cheesy clichés and awful stereotyping is impossible to watch.

    It's embarrassing that good actors (Vanessa Williams not included) lent their skills to such an awful picture.

    Obvious and outward police racism that nobody could get away with (today, anyway) is commonplace, but ignored by everyone BUT Shaft. I know it's a sequel (of sorts) to the original, but even Jackson and a talented cast can't pull it off.

    No spoilers... Just, don't watch. You'll never get this time back.
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