Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Germany/USA, 2000. Paramount Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions, New Deal Productions, Munich Film Partners & Company, Shaft Productions. Story by John Singleton, Shane Salerno, Screenplay by Richard Price, John Singleton, Shane Salerno, based on the novel by Ernest Tidyman. Cinematography by Donald E. Thorin. Produced by Mark Roybal, Scott Rudin, John Singleton. Music by David Arnold. Production Design by Patrizia von Brandenstein. Costume Design by Ruth E. Carter. Film Editing by John Bloom, Al Rodgers, Antonia van Drimmelen.
Samuel L. Jackson rules this film update of Ernest Tidyman’s cool-as-sin cop creation, first filmed in 1971 with Richard Roundtree. John Singleton brings Shaft to the nineties without losing the slick seventies look that made the original so much a piece of nostalgia, even including themes and the main song from Isaac Hayes’ original Academy Award-winning score. The plot involves a snooty heir (Christian Bale) who thinks he can get away with murder, not realizing that Shaft is on the scene and ready to take him down! Toni Collette, Vanessa Williams and Jeffrey Wright all lend able support, but it is Jackson who takes the cake here, while Roundtree makes a very welcome cameo appearance.