Shaft (2019) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Samuel L Jackson (the 2000’s remake “Shaft”) and Richard Roundtree (the original 1970s “Shaft”) makes a welcome presence in the latest Netflix reboot of the Blaxploitation classic that created the first black action hero in the form of Roundtree. Directed by Tim Story, “Shaft” plays within its own trapping, it’s own characters and ultimately their own material. It is a hit and miss kind of film as some moments are clearly better than others. Jessie Usher gives a credible performance as the possible “Shaft” successor, but the kind highlight remains Jackson and the scene stealing Roundtree playing the neglecting father and probably the coolest grandpa on Earth.
Samuel L Jackson gets to show off his arsenal of wordplays, classic cheesy trash talk and clear brutal action that “Shaft” character is well known for. Jessie Usher plays the son and co-lead who manages to join the FBI only to be disheartened by an under-appreciative boss. Meanwhile, granddaddy “Shaft” played with scene stealing display by Richard Roundtree, showcasing the epitaph of pure coolness and one-liner jokes. The talented Alexandra Shipp plays Usher’s love interest display a credible strong female character and this is in line with the charismatic Regina Hall as Jackson’s embattled former wife.
All in all, “Shaft” makes good entertainment for a Friday’s night entertainment time-slot. It’s disappointing box office return provide a perfect opportunity for a Netflix wide release. The film has all the elements of a B-Movie written all over, cheesy dialogue, brotherhood, family issues and straight forward brutal action and gunplay. It is the kind of film that it is what it is, never ambitious and just enough entertainment to make it an easy watch.
I rated it 7.5/10