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Shaft

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

When spoiled university kid Walter Williams (Christian Bale) kills a young black student, John Shaft (Samuel L Jackson) makes the arrest. Walter skips bail and flees the country, and after two years of waiting, Shaft hauls him back into custody as Walter secretly returns to the USA. But when Walter's wealthy father posts bail once again, Walter is back out on the streets and looking to put Shaft in a body bag. So are two of Shaft's corrupt colleagues (Dan Hedaya as Jack Roselli and Ruben Santiago-Hudson) as well as Peoples Hernandez (Jeffrey Wright), a Dominican drug lord who wants revenge on Shaft for humiliating him in the neighbourhood he rules.

For backup, Shaft has only his two closest pals: Carmen (Vanessa Williams), a colleague on the police force; and his streetwise confidant, Rasaan (Busta Rhymes). Meanwhile, Shaft has got to track down the one murder witness (Toni Collette as Diane) who can put all of his enemies away for good even as the toughest killers in the city close in on him.

Also starring Richard Roundtree as John Shaft, Philip Bosco, Will Chase, Jennifer Esposito, Josef Sommer as Flemming and Lawrence Taylor. Directed by John Singleton.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Shaft image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film crime detective police murder TV remake action

Cinematic intelligence sources

  • Shaft official movie site
  • Shaft QuickTime movie trailers
  • See also Shaft
  • Studios and distributors:

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

A bad mother... shut your mouth!

While no film can ever compare to the original Shaft, and while there can only be one John Shaft, this Shaft does pretty damned well. It doesn't try to go back to the breeding ground that gave birth to John Shaft, it comes forward through time to the breeding ground that gives birth to a new kind of John Shaft, one who you can believe grew up with John Shaft as his idol.

Hmmm... that's a lot of shafting.

Puns aside, Shaft is a good cop flick with heaps of action, violence, attitude and cool. It's just that at the dawn of the new millennium there's more than enough action, violence, attitude and cool to go round. Jeffrey certainly has his fair share.

The theme song is still one of the greatest songs ever written.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Picture: Widescreen
  • Reflections on Shaft - Cast and crew interviews
  • Shaft: Still the man - making-of featurette
  • Theme from Shaft - Isaac Hayes music video
  • Bad man - R Kelly music video

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level violence, medium level coarse language)

Surveillance time

99 minutes (1:39 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD retail: 5 October 2001
VD and VHS retail: 5 October 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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