Shaft – Budget of $30 – 35 million – 1 hour and 51 minutes
In 1989, Shaft and Maya feel safe in Harlem until someone shoots his car with them inside. Normally, Maya could handle Shaft’s dangerous job but with their infant son in the backseat, she can’t risk it anymore. She leaves Shaft and takes their son with her. As the years past, Shaft sends gifts to Junior – always inappropriate – but Junior still feels abandoned. Now, Junior works as a data analyst for the FBI and prefers to be called John. He wants to work high profile cases but his boss has no respect for him. He gets a call from his friend Karim to meet at a bar. Karim brings a surprise, John’s old friend Dr. Sasha. The three friends laugh and catch up about old times. Suddenly, Karim gets a text message, says his goodbyes, and abruptly leaves. John goes after him and notices that Karim seems off. Against his better judgment, John lets him leave. The next day, Maya calls John and tell him Karim was found dead of an overdose. John doesn’t believe his friend relapsed. Karim was clean for over a year and doing well. John investigates his death but ends up in the emergency room. He shows Sasha Karim’s autopsy report and she sees something suspicious. With the potency of the heroin, there was no way Karim could have finished the hit before he died. Karim was killed. With little resources and a bruised forehead, John goes to the only person in Harlem who can help. His father, the legend John Shaft. Together, they will be some bad mother … shut your mouth.
This is some of the funniest writing in a buddy-cop-father-son movie in a long time. The script constantly plays off the generational gap of manhood. Shaft’s no-nonsense, lady’s man mixed with all-around badass. John Jr is a PC, technically inclined shy guy with plenty of hidden talents. They both grow and learn from each other without getting mushy. You will be in tears and awe while unraveling a crime that includes the military, a mosque, and a grocery store. And the best part, the story comes full circle to heal this family’s bond. There is on end credits scene and no need to see it in Dolby.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars
Your name is Shaft not Chase – Maya
Even I own a gun and I live in the good part of Harlem – Sasha
I did not abandon you – Shaft
You want some grits – Shaft Sr.
I said I didn’t do guns. I didn’t say I couldn’t shoot – Shaft Jr.
Just say you’re an FBI agent. Especially if she looks like that – Karim