Moviegoers were first introduced to John Shaft in the 1971 film “Shaft.” It was a groundbreaking, action-filled film that saved MGM from bankruptcy and started a five-film franchise.
The leading role of John Shaft was initially played by the then 28-year-old Richard Roundtree, who portrayed a savvy private detective in a turtleneck and long, black leather coat.
In 2000, audiences were introduced to Shaft’s son, John Shaft II (Samuel L. Jackson) in the film also named “Shaft.” John Shaft II, in his father’s footsteps, had become the meanest, baddest, be-afraid-of private detective on the streets of New York.
Now, 19 years later in the newest “Shaft” film, we are introduced to Shaft II’s son, John (JJ) Shaft Jr. JJ is an MIT graduate and employed by the FBI as a cybersecurity expert. He was raised by his mother, but occasionally saw his father and grew up knowing his father’s reputation.
When his best friend is killed, JJ seeks out his father to help him find his friend’s killer.
Without a doubt, Shaft II thoroughly lives up to his reputation, and Jackson plays his role as Shaft II ‘to-the-hilt.’ At the same time, the film’s framework includes an abundance of humor.
Toward the end of the movie, there is a three-generation team-up of Shaft II, JJ, AND Shaft Sr. (Richard Roundtree, now age 76). At that point, the bad guys had no chance!
Critics rate “Shaft” at 35 percent, while audiences rate it at 93 percent. I agree more with audiences, but at an 84 percent.
Note: It is R-rated, especially for language and sexual content.