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
Top Customer Reviews
Shaft 2000, is another movie that takes the name, and uses only trace elements of the original concept, to then create something that is pretty far removed from the original. How much this matters, probably depends how much you enjoyed the original. If the script was rewritten a bit, and the character Shaft renamed, this movie could still have been made under some other title. The story is not proprietary to the character.
Samuel L. Jackson easily slides into the role of the redefined character, and delivers a typically solid performance. As a cop, Jackson's Shaft is tough, cool, and for the most part, believable. The character only occasionally strays into the "cartoon zone", even when the violence gets out of hand.
The central plot line, revolving around bringing a racist killer to justice, would run out of steam if a subplot involving a drug dealer were not introduced. The drug angle, increases the level of action and violence. The use of profanity is excessive and pervasive. Like the original, race figures prominently in the story. The ending may satisfy some, and dismay others, but that was the intention. This film is elevated to slightly above average, only by Jackson's presence.Read more ›
The screenplay of SHAFT being as hollow as the ones we have to swallow by the dozen each year on television, I was hoping that John Singleton would adopt a different and maybe revolutionary style in his filmmaking in order to fulfill the hopes I had in his directorial skills. After 10 minutes, I knew that it was hopeless : you cannot fight against an icon and John Singleton hasn't. So SHAFT is going to join the hundreds of Hollywood action movies released in 2000 and will be forgotten in no time. Rent it, like me, if you have 2 hours to lose on a rainy sunday night. If not, skip it.
A DVD zone Starsky & Hutch only.
Samuel L Jackson potrays the private dick that gets all the chicks, but there is something about him that is not so great. He just seemed like he did not want to be there. Was that due to the fact that we have seen this film before. The action and the plot have been in countless movies, so one movie that combines all of it is only tiring. Jeffery Wright got a lot of praise for his role as Peoples, the only problem with that was that he was terrible. He only muttered incoherently and did a very over stereotypical job of trying to potray another character that has been seen a hundred times before. Christian Bale was a much better villian that went completely over looked. He was not an original character in any way, but his acting was far superior to that of Peoples.
This film is an overall disaster. It is slow, and contains one too many things blowing up and far too many people getting shot. After 50 people or so, the effect is kind of lost. I suggest renting the original if someone is really in the mood for Shaft. And only renting this one if you want to see how you can ruin a classic very easily.
Most recent customer reviews
Shaft's (Richard Roundtree) nephew, also last-named Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson), is the star in this movie. Read more
Samuel L. Jackson in Shaft could have been a great movie. He has the talent and skill to effectively play the role. Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by SHAWN JAMES
SHAFT'S SAME-NAMED NEPHEW [SAMUEL L. JACKSON] GOES AFTER A DOMINICAN DRUG LORD AND A RACIST SERIAL KILLER. VERY GOOD REMAKE. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004 by MICHAEL TAYLOR
a great remake with Jackson being the man Shaft. good action with some unexpected turnabouts. Christian Bale is menacing as the racist who kills Mehki Phifer then has to answer to... Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2003 by Michael Bolts
Samuel L Jackson is fabulous in this as John Shaft a tough, cynical NYPD detective who resigns in anger and takes justice into his own hands. Read morePublished on June 7 2003 by R. J. Marsella
Lightweight storywise--but no more so than a modern James Bond movie--"Shaft" is nonetheless stylish and entertaining, even with some scenes of terrible violence. Samuel L. Read morePublished on May 29 2003 by Stephen Kaczmarek
I actually cringed when I saw the trailer to this movie. It didn't show much except shot after shot of Samuel L. Jackson removing his designer sunglasses and staring at the camera. Read morePublished on March 30 2003 by N. P. Stathoulopoulos
Sure, Samuel L. Jackson was a light in a dark place, but it was too dark a place! Shaft was a lousy remake that could have been great. Samuel L. Read morePublished on March 20 2003 by Jackson Brown
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