STILL THE MAN, ANY QUESTIONS?
The son (Christian Bale) of a wealthy real estate tycoon kills a black man, is released on bail and leaves the country; when he returns a few years later, New York cop John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson) is determined to see him punished. When this blaxploitation hero was revived a lot of things looked right on paper. Jackson is a cool, smooth Shaft and in John Singleton’s hands the movie is charged with a holy anger toward racism. However, Bale is cartoonishly evil and the film suffers from needless games between dirty cops and drug dealers.
2000-U.S. 98 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by John Singleton. Screenplay: Richard Price, John Singleton, Shane Salerno. Cast: Samuel L. Jackson (John Shaft), Vanessa Williams (Carmen Vasquez), Jeffrey Wright (Peoples Hernandez), Christian Bale, Busta Rhymes, Dan Hedaya… Toni Collette, Richard Roundtree, Pat Hingle, Mekhi Phifer, Elizabeth Banks. Cameos: Gordon Parks, Isaac Hayes.
Trivia: Wesley Snipes was allegedly considered for the lead; John Leguizamo for Wright’s role. Jackson and Roundtree returned for Shaft (2019).