How terrible is the latest incarnation of Shaft? It’s terrible on a multitude of levels—it’s poorly made, the story is dumb, and the acting is mediocre—but so are a lot of movies, right? However, this one distinguishes itself by also being an unfunny, mean-spirited embarrassment to everyone involved. The plotline (for what it’s worth, which isn’t much): Jessie T. Usher plays Little Shaft, an FBI analyst who gets help from dad, Big Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson), with tracking down his best friend’s murderer. Little Shaft is constantly derided by Big Shaft for being “a pussy,” which is to say, not being an ultra-violent, sexist shithead. But don’t worry! By film’s end, Little Shaft makes Big Shaft proud. Oh, and Grandfather Shaft (Richard Roundtree) also makes an appearance to shovel piles of dirt on any remaining fond memories of his 1971 blaxploitation classic. by Wm. Steven Humphrey
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Gordon Parks
Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Christopher St. John