Imaginably, I would have thought director Tim Story’s follow-up from John Singleton’s 2000 continuation of the Shaft franchise would be a bit darker than what’s presented in the first official trailer. Usual comedy aside, what we get here seems a bit extra and feels more like a fish-out-of-water crime romp written by someone trying to grow from their previous workdesk at Disney.
That’s just me for the time being. Alas, it’s the first sample of what’s now being slated for release in theaters on June 14 from Warner Bros. Samuel L. Jackson and original franchise star Richard Roundtree are joined by Jesse T. Usher whose take on the classic blaxploitation saga aims to put a fair millenial stamp on things while fronting the popular character for a new generation of moviegoers.
JJ, aka John Shaft Jr. (Usher), may be a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death, he needs an education only his dad can provide. Absent throughout JJ’s youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate Harlem’s heroin-infested underbelly. And while JJ’s own FBI analyst’s badge may clash with his dad’s trademark leather coat, there’s no denying family. Besides, Shaft’s got an agenda of his own, and a score to settle that’s professional and personal.