“Shaft” is back and the mythology of the franchise that began with Richard Roundtree in the 70’s and returned in 2000 with Samuel L. Jackson puts the character of the womanizing, no-nonsense, private detective from Harlem in, front of a new audience that might not like what he has to say in 2019.
But it’s also Father’s Day film that manages to be only mildly entertaining.
Jessie. T. Usher stars as JJ Shaft, an FBI analyst who has to look up his old man, the senior Shaft in Jackson, to solve a crime ring revolving around the death of his friend. The millennial JJ has to work with the father who abandoned him, while the elder Shaft has to adjust to his more cautious and politically correct son.
The action is solid, and we get the return of the pre “Nick Fury” Jackson that we’ve become used to with the Disney-owned Marvel movies, complete with just about every profanity you can remember him using. The plot is predictable and weak, but the chemistry with the cast keeps it from being to boring.
Director, Tim Story, is loyal to the Shaft legacy. The music is there, the violence earns it’s “R”, and when the original Shaft, Richard Roundtree, shows up, he does manage to keep the younger generation in check.
But, there are the jokes. No one is safe from any community, and if you’re easily offended you might not be laughing.
And beneath it all there is a Father’s Day message that might not redeem the film, but does understand how important those relationship are.
Running time: 1 hour 51 minutes