“Shaft” | Movie Review

Shaft (2019) is the fifth movie of its series starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie Usher, and Richard Roundtree alongside Regina Hall and Alexandra Shipp. The film is also a direct sequel to the 2000 film with the same title. The first Shaft movie debut in 1971 and it became a TV show staring Roundtree himself from 1973 to 1974. 


FBI Agent J.J Shaft Jr (Jessie Usher), finds out his close friend dies under suspicious circumstances, he turns to his estranged father, the legendary John Shaft II (Samuel L. Jackson) to uncover the truth. The father and son duo must navigate the Harlem underworld to solve a crime. 


Although the movie has a solid story to tell in the modern world, it’s easy to see why critics say the film felt outdated. The tone of the movie dealt with drugs, addiction, millennial issues, and the differences in generations. The film felt it had a “duty” play homage to its source material making it feel dated at times. It was very easy to see where the movie was going even though the lead characters were solving a crime and uncovering a mystery. 


The whole cast does and amazing job on their performance, never skipping a beat. Samuel L. Jackson never misses a mark, continuing to add his own spin to such an iconic character in TV and movies, Jessie Usher adds to his take on a millennial trying to walk in the footsteps of his father while still being true to the times that we live in today. 


This is an action movie, right? Well it does deliver; however, I would have liked to have seen more fight sequences. Most of the fighting went right to the point without leaving anything left for more. 


Larry Blanford captured some amazing visuals from the cityscapes down to the films visually stunning areas in Harlem.


Tim Story, (Fantastic Four 1&2, Taxi, and Ride Along 1&2) captured both the humor and the action necessary for a Shaft film. Each scene was timely, served its purpose and drove the film further to its climax.

Critics said…

Decades removed from the original, this multi-generational Shaft struggles to keep its characters interesting — or anything other than uncomfortably outdated.

Rotten Tomatoes


Sequels tend to make me nervous especially one that comes almost 20 years after the previous one. They tend to miss the mark on what the original brought to the table while still adding a new element to the way the original movie felt and how it is handled for time that they take place in. This film deliverers on both fronts. Yes, Shaft may have worked in the 70’s but the theme of the movie doesn’t hit right with today’s themes. A ruthless private investigator with a bad temper, that gets trigger happy doesn’t sit well in 2019. J.J. Shaft (Usher) mentioned that to his father (S. L. Jackson) in the film which he blows off the comment in return. However, the film handled other details that are usually overlooked in a movie like this, LGBTQ community, and Woman’s rights were respectfully done in a way that was still funny and relevant to the tone of the film. 

The film was still praised by audiences with over 3k reviews on rotten tomatoes giving it a standing 94%

Total Score: 9/10 (Just for making me laugh through the whole movie, and being fun to watch)