I never saw the original "Shaft" but I found the new "Shaft",
starring Samuel Jackson, entertaining. Jackson is Detective John
Shaft, a New York cop who occasionally acts in a rather unprofessional
manner (he punches out a handcuffed suspect in one scene). However,
he does have provocation - Shaft is just delivering his version
"Shaft" involves two plotlines that merge toward the end: A racist
- and very rich- white man murders an African-American man, and
manages to avoid conviction - at least for a while. Shaft searches
for a key witness who could settle the case. Meanwhile, a Latino
gangster named Peoples makes trouble and Shaft takes care of him
too. Jackson is a terrific actor and is excellent as Shaft (although
I thought Denzel Washington would have been great in this role
too). Vanessa Williams, who I have to say is starting to look
really old, has an unproductive role as another police officer.
The plot and occasional comedy were well- written.
"Shaft" is interesting for a while, but it helps if you like cop
stories. (If you're an "NYPD Blue" fan, you'll probably love this
movie.) I became a little bored toward the end (the last half-
hour was all action and little plot) but basically I enjoyed "Shaft".