Shaft (2000) Review

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New York City police detective John Shaft sees the crime of Walter Wade Jr as a personal battle when it was a murder which was motivated by race. With a key witness not willing to testify against him and going into hiding, it was always going to be a tough task for Shaft!

This was my first viewing of this film and I have no prior knowledge of Shaft. But I knew I couldn’t really be disappointed with a film that has Samuel L. Jackson as a detective and Christian Bale as the bad guy. The storyline was engaging enough as we see the film open with the murder and Shaft attempting to piece everything together with the witnesses. But when the court case does not go the way he intends and Walter Wade Jr being the son of a very wealthy man he manages to escape the trial and disappears for two years.

That is when we pick up the story two years later when Wade for some reason decides to return to New York, Shaft has certainly been waiting for this and most do everything possible to locate Diane Palmieri. She as the only witness and saw everything that happened, although her story goes a tiny bit deep than that which was a pretty good twist in all honesty.

I guess you cannot really go wrong with a crime film set in New York City, we get plenty of nice shots of the city and I thought Samuel L. Jackson was as engaging as usual in the leading role. Although it was a good job he was on-screen majority of the time as the rest of the characters were rather weak. Christian Bale took on the evil role very well and showed no remorse as the killer, that is something I just love about his career and how he really does take on so many different types of characters. I felt a slightly disappointing thing was that Toni Collette while in a big role in terms of the plot does not actually have very much screen time which is a shame really.

Something I have noticed since watching this film is that we are actually due another Shaft film with Samuel L. Jackson this year so it seems I have certainly watched this at the right time. While it was not groundbreaking in any way it was watchable and I quite enjoyed it at times due to the leading performance. I guess that is really what we need in a film like this, the main character who it is all about to be engaging. Jackson certainly does get some very good lines and moments from start to finish, cannot complain with that.

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