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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.28%
Worth A Look42.06%
Average: 22.43%
Pretty Bad: 14.02%
Total Crap: 11.21%

8 reviews, 59 user ratings

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Shaft (2000)
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by EricDSnider

"That 'Shaft' is one bad ... movie."
3 stars

Isaac Hayes' theme song from the original 1971 "Shaft," of which this is either a remake or a sequel (the movie itself seems unsure which), is intact and as cool as ever. And the film even starts out that way.

Samuel L. Jackson -- who, it must be stated, would be the butt-kickingest man alive even if he were in a quilting bee -- plays John Shaft, nephew of the John Shaft from the original "Shaft." (Richard Roundtree makes a cameo, reprising his role as Shaft the First.) Shaft the Second is a New York City cop, and he don't play by the rules, as evidenced by his punching suspects in the face. Sure, the one he hits is Christian Bale as an impossibly evil racist man who killed a black guy, but still, you don't go fist-whipping your collars, even if they are Christian Bale.

Anyway, Bale's character, Walter Williams, is rich and gets off scot-free, which makes Shaft hang up his badge. Actually, he hurls it like a Chinese star and imbeds it in the wall behind the judge's head -- the first real sign that this movie has crossed the line from campy '70s-style fun into true badness.

Because for a while there, you notice the wah-wah guitars on the soundtrack, and the fact that Shaft has more attitude than actual good lines, and the fact that every white person is racist and all the bad guys are like comic book characters ... and you kind of sit back and enjoy it. It seems intentionally cheesy, as if trying to re-create the look and feel of the films we loved 30 years ago but are now sort of embarrassed by.

But the novelty of '70s cheesiness wears off after a while, and the film becomes a run-of-the-mill police drama, culiminating in -- yes! -- a car chase. Shaft's lines stop being even ostensibly funny (hearing him tell people to "shut the **** up" is only amusing so many times), and a twisty plot involving a Latino drug pusher (Jeffrey Wright) and Williams is nothing new at all.

Add to that an ending that would seem to encourage vigilantism, and you've got yourself a film that, while heavy on attitude, is actually pretty light on personality or even entertainment value.

I doubt anyone other than Jackson could have made "Shaft" even as tolerable as it is. Yet even he is more a state of mind -- "cool" -- than an actual person. His considerable talents help the terrible screenplay, but they don't rescue it altogether.

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originally posted: 07/06/03 19:38:17
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell pretty good nothing more 4 stars
3/03/11 chris c Jackson is a badass mother, Bale and Wright are hateful mothers but Rhymes is annoying 4 stars
1/31/11 Phineas Time for PC remake with WHITE Man as Shaft,and Black/Jew villain!!!! 1 stars
5/19/09 action movie fan a rare casw when a redo is better than the firts-one of 2000,s best films 5 stars
10/31/05 Wisamane Lmao it was horribly entertaining 5 stars
8/12/05 ES Mr. jackson wasted on a bland and unsavable script 2 stars
8/05/05 R.W. Welch Tough cop actioner has decent acting, but routine overall. 3 stars
10/10/04 rick terrazas no cop gets away with that much bull 3 stars
5/24/04 Butterbean Weak and miscasted. I hated the first movie, but this made me give it a second look. 1 stars
2/15/04 J Movie was kind of boring, but the theme song was thigh. 3 stars
6/24/03 Jack Bourbon Man, I don't mind dissin' whitey, but this was idiotically, hatefully, ridiculously racist. 2 stars
3/25/03 Jack Sommersby Repugnant and atrociously made. 1 stars
2/22/03 spacecowboy-00x "SHAFT!'re DAMN RIGHT" 4 stars
7/21/02 Croweater A boring & shallow film with stereotyped characters, crappy script and weak directing. 2 stars
2/25/02 Jenny Tullwartz Cop so mean I was pulling for suspect to be innocent (which PC predictably forbade) 1 stars
1/24/02 Andrew Carden Such A Pale and Weak Remake Of The Original 70's Flick. 1 stars
10/17/01 jawsboy bale is cool, but the movie gave me the "SHAFT", wait, not like that..very realistic though 3 stars
9/05/01 Bada Bing Crosby Jeffrey Wright was much better than the movie; Bale was ridic 2 stars
9/01/01 Butterbean This movie was as bad as it's predecessor! 2 stars
8/14/01 Fish Eye Very realistic cop movie - Jackson is awesome and so is Jeffrey Wright 5 stars
5/22/01 I love movies Bale was cool but the movie sucked 1 stars
4/04/01 Jesse L Samuel L.Jackson makes it worth a look...nothing else 4 stars
2/13/01 CJ O' Callaghan I came out of the cinema embarrassed - that i was dumb enough to see this piece of shit 1 stars
1/23/01 Darryl Elvers Unbelievable, kills with 9mm, but escapes machine gun fire. 1 stars
1/22/01 Spetters A good piece of entertainment. Jackon Rules! 4 stars
12/28/00 Tom good point, he's a millionaire, why the hell is he selling jewelery and dealing drugs??! 3 stars
12/19/00 The Bomb 69 didn't make sense, why would Bale character sell drugs when daddy can send him to Europe??? 2 stars
11/21/00 iulian Tocu bad music, a film for kids 2 stars
9/27/00 Matthew Bartley very surprised by how good this was and Samuel is the man 5 stars
7/26/00 Heather Jackson plays one cool m.f. so shut your mouth! 5 stars
7/07/00 W.Wayde A lot more complicated plot, so movie was really intense. Jackson rocks the fuckin house 5 stars
7/05/00 Politicsman You damn right!!!! Nothin' beats the original! 3 stars
6/29/00 burton miller i don't know if there is enough ass in the world for this movie to suck 1 stars
6/28/00 malcolm Shaft chasing one bar room brawler for the whole movie kinda trivialized the character 3 stars
6/27/00 Andy Webster Better than expected for one reason, the host of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego 5 stars
6/27/00 PJ The movie should have been called Peoples Hernandez, cause he stole the whole show, whole!! 4 stars
6/27/00 Overflow Bitch Pleasantly suprised... Samuel L Jackson is a great Shaft. 4 stars
6/26/00 Captain Highcrime But doesn't everybody wish they had a John Shaft patrolling the streets of their town? 4 stars
6/26/00 Bubby KoHawk said it all in his review. Add unrealistic dialogue. 1 stars
6/25/00 kim boyd Peoples was awesome! He needs his own movie. I was captivated by him. 4 stars
6/24/00 koHawk shitty acting, predictable plot, movie sucks 1 stars
6/22/00 g g 5 stars
6/21/00 Peter Smith How believable is a Shaft that doesn't get laid? 2 stars
6/21/00 Japtalian Jeffrey Wright as Peoples Hernandez does a remarkable acting job. 3 stars
6/21/00 Reverend Krule Richard Roundtree gets all the fly honeys in the end 5 stars
6/21/00 PhilmPhreak A good time at the movies! Samuel Jackson=da man! 4 stars
6/21/00 wooHaa anemic plot, "bad guys" are pussy-whipped, and vanessa isn't the main babe 1 stars
6/20/00 Cheeseboy This movie is one great mother SHUT YOUR MOUTH! 5 stars
6/20/00 Jokko While Jackson is performing solidly, Bale and Wright steal the show in a big way. 4 stars
6/20/00 MC Cheese A+ for bringing Richard Roundtree back, better on the second viewing. 4 stars
6/20/00 Obi Wan Not bad at all...Hollywood managed not to fuck this up! Jax and Peoples were good! 4 stars
6/19/00 Krystal Jackson kicks major ass, but story itself was choppy & unremarkable 3 stars
6/19/00 Jason Kallelis Not bad, not bad at all. Now I have to see the original... 5 stars
6/19/00 koHawk After my buzz wore off, I realized I was watching a terrible movie. 2 stars
6/18/00 cinesuerte rent it instead, not that good 3 stars
6/18/00 William D'Angelo a fine update of the original 4 stars
6/18/00 Clarance not bad! They sure did a bang up job with what they had 3 1/2 starz... 3 stars
6/17/00 FilmStar Pretty cool...Jackson was *awesome* and Bale was hot as usual (even if he was a dick) 4 stars
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  16-Jun-2000 (R)


  26-Oct-2000 (M)

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