Story

Samuel L. Jackson makes a gleefully updated John Shaft in John Singleton's homage to (not remake of) the early '70s action classic, picking up where Richard Roundtree's legendary Shaft left off. The Manhattan-set film is highlighted by excellent performances, dynamic action scenes, and witty one-liners (Jackson's Shaft: "It's my duty to please the booty"--although the line's deceptive: there's a surprising lack of sex in the film). Unfortunately, it's offset by a surprisingly uninspired, predictable, one-dimensional story, penned by Singleton, Richard Price, and Shane Salerno. The story, in which Shaft investigates the murder of a young African American, is without suspense, since from the start the audience knows that rich white boy Walter Wade (Christian Bale) did the deed, and that Shaft is going to kick his ass, big time. That said, charismatic performances--from Jackson (who, in keeping with the times, is more volatile and fiery than his predecessor), Toni Collette (as a frightened witness), the villainous Bale, and the utterly amazing Jeffrey Wright (Basquiat)--make the film enticing and watchable. Look for a cameo by the original Shaft's director, the legendary Gordon Parks, and fans of the original should note that a still stunningly handsome Roundtree briefly appears as Jackson's uncle. --N.F. Mendoza

DVD Features

  • "Reflections On Shaft" Exclusive Cast and Crew Interviews
  • "Shaft: Still The Man" Making Of Featurette
  • "Theme From Shaft" Isaac Hayes Music Video
  • "Bad Man" R. Kelly Music Video
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Dynamic Interactive Motion Menus
  • Scene Selection

Cast

Samuel L. JacksonJohn Shaft
Vanessa WilliamsCarmen Vasquez
Jeffrey WrightPeoples Hernandez
Christian BaleWalter Wade Jr.
Busta RhymesRasaan
Dan HedayaJack Roselli
Toni ColletteDiane Palmieri
Richard RoundtreeUncle John Shaft
Ruben Santiago-HudsonJimmy Groves
Josef SommerCurt Fleming
Lynne ThigpenCarla Howard
Philip BoscoWalter Wade Sr.
Pat HingleHon. Dennis Bradford
Lee TergesenLuger
Daniel von BargenLt. Kearney
Zach GrenierHarrison Loeb
Andre RoyerTattoo
Mekhi PhiferTrey Howard

  • Genre: Adventure Movies
  • Director: John Singleton
  • Producer: Paramount
  • Length: 99 mins
  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJun 16, 2000
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe18
    AustraliaMA
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaDec 12, 2000
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