One of the best movies to be added to Netflix recently is Shaft. Starring Samuel L. Jackson (Kong Skull Island) in his iconic role, Shaft is as action-packed as it is hilarious. It is the fifth film in the series and it's lighter tones are in keeping with the style of writer Kenya Barris, who many will know as the creator of Black-ish.
The story starts back in the 90s when Shaft and his family survive an assassination attempt by infamous gang leader Gordito. His then-wife, played by Regina Hall, takes his son to raise away from the violence that follows John Shaft. Fast forward 25 years later and John Shaft Jnr (JJ) is all grown up and an analyst for the FBI.
When his best friend dies, JJ believes he was murdered. But lacking all the necessary streetwise skills to prove it, he turns to his father for help. Initially reluctant to help, Shaft then realises that this may lead him to finally tracking down Gordito. What ensues is a hilarious quest for the truth as old-school Shaft must contend with his otherwise naive but modern-thinking son.
Critics more or less spanned Shaft, citing that the movie struggled to keep the characters engaging. However, audiences loved it and I fall into that camp. I think Shaft is a brilliant mix of old-school action with plenty of jokes that only highlighted the generational gap between the father and son. Throw in excellent performances from Regina Hall and Richard Roundtree and it's a winning formula.
Samuel L. Jackson is still bringing his A game and the on-screen chemistry between himself and Jessie Usher is perfect. Shaft is a thoroughly enjoyable movie that at least has a decent plot. Which is more than can be said for other pointless action films that are being churned out. It's probably not for the easily offended or those who recoil at the constant use of the word ‘motherf**ker' but that's what makes it so good. It's Shaft!
So what you end up with is an unapologetic, non-pandering, occasionally politically incorrect action comedy. And it's pure genius.