Shaft in Africa – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 52 minutes
Shaft unsuccessfully stops a bunch of kids from stealing his hubcaps before he heads back to his office. On his way back, he meets a guy in the elevator with a huge stick. Shaft gives him the slip but the guy breaks down his door. Shaft shoots the man two times but he doesn’t go down. The man shoots him with a dart and Shaft falls to the floor. Hours later, Shaft wakes up naked in a barn. The man walks in with his stick. Shaft finds another stick and they start to stick fight. Shaft is distracted when another man enters the room and gets knocked out again. Shaft wakes up again, naked, and in a room covered in sand, with heat lamps, and no water. A voice over the speaker says the room is 110 degrees. He needs to walk for 8 hours straight or die. Shaft outsmarts them by covering himself with sand. The heat lamps turn off and 2 men enter. Wassa explains Shaft was being tested for 3 things.
- Can you kill
- Can you stick fight
- Can you survive the desert
These skills will be needed if Shaft chooses to take the job. Wassa informs Shaft that men were smuggled from Italy into France. Several of them died. However, if they lived, they would have become endured servants. Their employers would ensure their debt would be more than their pay. This is a form of modern-day slavery. They will pay Shaft $25,000, $15,000 now and $10,000 later if he goes undercover as an African worker from a small village to get hired and find the man in charge. Shaft agrees to take the job but they know he will not blend in Africa. So, they ask Aleme, Wassa’s daughter, to teach Shaft their language, culture, and history. When Shaft is ready, he will get a ticket to African and apply for “work”.
While other versions of Shaft focuses on issues related to blacks in America, this movie focuses on world issues such as female circumcision, the modern-day slave trade, human trafficking, and forgotten history. While the issues have changed, so has the format. This movie has more of a James Bond feel than a typical Shaft movie (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It provides espionage, gadgets, and short-lived Girl Friday. If this movie was given a bigger platform, it would have sparked a conversation. Even though all these points are good, Shaft in African is missing something that made Shaft film amazing. This attempt at the mainstream fell flat of its predecessor’s overall essence.
I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars
I got too many friends with troubles, I don’t do strangers – Shaft
I think of him as my living chastity belt – Aleme
Luck can run out. Even for you, my black brother – Mr. Amafi
Mr. shaft I wish you luck. God knows you’ll need it – Col. Goner