Shaft lived up to the hype that originally peaked my interest with the trailers. This film is funny and full of great fight scenes, but there could have been a bit more depth to the story. Yet I like how it successfully brought the 70’s and 2000’s era lineages together, with Samuel L. Jackson, Regina Hall, Richard Roundtree, and Jessie Usher’s performances making Shaft one for the books. However, like BookSmart, the film will probably go on to become an underrated classic.
I liked that, in the film, Maya (Regina Hall) took John Shaft Jr. i.e. JJ (Jessie Usher) from Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson) but Shaft was still in his life. Although he wasn’t there physically he was there for him more than most fathers these days. I know a lot of people pray for their father to be there for them the way he was for his son.
There are a few bumps in Shaft, such as why Maya was not made a gun or fighting expert like her estranged husband. I think if she showed the power of a woman we could’ve seen why Shaft loved her so much. Even Alexandra Shipp’s character owned a gun and wasn’t scared to use it or help if needed. That shows a woman with power and, instead of having Regina yell aggressively, it would have been nice to see her fight on Shaft’s side at one point.
The grandfather, father and son trio in Shaft‘s action scenes made the movie feel even more powerful. 1971 Shaft (Richard Roundtree) moved like he never skipped a beat and out smarted bad guys. 2000 Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson) was getting bad guys like he never retired and like he was still the same. In the film he never changed how he operated in the past which made JJ (Jessie Usher) a better FBI agent.
This generational fight reminded me a lot of the fight scene in John Wick 3 where Halle Berry fought side by side with Wick and her two German Shepherds. Everyone had their own bad guy and then they came together to help each other if needed. There was a point where JJ couldn’t break a window and Shaft Sr. had to help JJ into the building with bullets flying everywhere. I like how, during this point of the film, there was witty banter from Samuel Jackson and Richard Roundtree.
The end of the movie was great three generations of Shafts going into business for themselves. JJ went to his boss and channeled his inner Shaft and walked out with his head held high. Grandfather Shaft back in the swing of things after being out of the game for a long time. Maya and Shaft Sr. look to be getting back together (maybe). They do it for each other Maya is the only woman Shaft ever had that didn’t tolerate his mess. Each generation of Shaft has had a woman who kept them level headed and mostly faithful. This isn’t something to take your children to, however, as there’s a lot of profanity and colorful language.
Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars
I really liked Shaft and any fan of the Shaft brand should go see it too. This is great for Father’s Day and I am glad it came out on this day for everyone to take their fathers to see a remake of the 1971 version that they watched and the 2000’s version that they grew to like. I watched the 1971 version, I was happy to see the 2000’s version and now I’m a fan of the 2019 addition.