An action-packed thrill ride that’s full of plenty of entertainment, fun, great kickass action and in the words of Shaft, “A Bad A#$ Mutha#%^*!ng Movie.” This newest edition of Shaft, which I had the pleasure to see a little over a month ago here in Chicago at the very first national screening is a movie that though not a direct sequel, takes a lot of the same ideas from the early Blaxploitation films and the 2000 surprise run away hit version starring Samuel L. Jackson as the legendary John Shaft II and brings it into the current times.
Even though it’s set in current times, like it predecessors, Shaft, which stars Jackson, Jessie T. Usher, Regina Hall and Richard Roundtree, still has that coolness factor that makes him a streetwise bad a#$ and such a legendary and iconic figure, as well as franchise. The movie itself by far one of the most entertaining movies you will see all year. A story based on John Shaft II meeting his son, JJ, years after he had to leave him and his ex-wife due to crimes happening in the underbelly of Harlem. Which him and his ex-wife, (who’s quite brilliantly portrayed by Hall), tried to keep JJ away from.
Despite this and being a FBI cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, JJ has a tragedy that happens to his best friend that impacts him deeply. Forcing him to seek out his estranged father’s help and the exploits that only his legendary father could educate him on in those same Harlem streets to uncover the truth about this crime.
Family no matter how long you maybe absent from one another, is still family and a lot of times does still find its way back to one another. The three generations of Shaft with Jackson, Usher as JJ and Roundtree as the original Shaft proving it. Their interactions with one another and how they eventually team up, something you didn’t think was really needed, but you learn really is.
With plenty of great camera angles, cinematic effects and action sequences throughout, director Tim Story, truly captures everything behind the lens in a way that truly keeps you entertained from the very beginning to end of the movie. While Usher does a very brilliant job as JJ aka John Shaft III that truly keeps the great legacy alive and the chemistry between both him and Jackson, as well as him and Alexandra Shipp, who plays his lifelong friend Sasha (whom he wants to be more than just friends), is quite seamless throughout.
You know you can’t truly keep the great Shaft legacy alive without the great trademark leather coat, one-line zingers and response back jokes. The latter helping Cliff “Method Man” Smith of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, really have a few scene-stealing funny great turns in his role as Freddie P. Of course you also can’t keep the great Shaft legacy alive without a very great score of music that keeps you engaged and entertained throughout. Which it certainly does.
Like the 2000 version directed by the unfortunately just recently untimely passed away John Singleton, there’s plenty of well placed humor that will keep you not only laughing, but entertained from the very start of the movie till the very end too. This new version of Shaft actually even funnier, which is in great part to black-ish and grown-ish, creator and writer, Kenya Barris, writing part of the screenplay for it.
Overall this is definitely a very must-see movie that you’re going to want to see as soon as it hits theaters today and I plan on seeing at least once or a few more times in theaters. Providing plenty of entertainment that will make you want to see it several times, this is a movie I highly recommend you see as many times as you can if you truly want to have a fun and entertaining time at the movies.