8:00 PM, 1st March, 2001
Samuel L. Jackson takes on the role of the smooth character from the 1970s, Shaft. Having only ever seen the first half of Shaft in Africa, I'm going to have to dispense with any comparisons between Richard Roundtree and Samuel L. Jackson or even between the styles of the movies and just review this movie alone. An African-American man is killed outside a bar in the middle of New York. The killing is obviously racially motivated, so, despite the killing having taken place on the street, no witnesses step forward (yes, OK, this sort of racist stuff wouldn't occur to such a degree nowadays, but don't let too much logic get in the way of an interesting premise). Despite Shaft's effort, the killer, Walter Wade (played by Bale from American Psycho), escapes prosecution. Two years later, Shaft has an opportunity to try to convict Wade and the action starts.
I enjoyed Shaft for none of the reasons I went to see it for. What looks like it was going to be a typical cop-tries-to-catch-bad-guy movie ends up being a bit more like the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels style of movie((mdash))with the many characters and gangs meeting up at the wrong times. Oh((mdash))and watch out for the appearance by Richard Roundtree at the end as Uncle John Shaft.