TV in the Theater
Review by Ross Anthony

ShaftVery well made for the most part with only one or two silly plot-progressions. Great acting by Samuel L. (and I'm not a huge "L." fan), but also some absolutely fantastic performances by Christian Bale (sporting a great NY accent) and Jeffrey Wright (with a thick Dominican tongue). These bad guys are almost lovable in their quirky sinisterness. Vanessa Williams is beautiful, but contributes little else.

Shaft is a cool, tough, 70's-TV cop who doesn't take any crap, and if being him means not playing by the rules - well then he's perfectly willing to toss his badge like a Chinese star. Race killer, Christian Bale is equally ambivalent about being politically correct. The confrontation between he and Shaft is personal.

Watch for Richard Roundtree as Uncle John - he's the original Shaft of the 1970's "Shaft" films and weekly TV series. He quips, "To this day, I'll be walking down the street in New York City and wherever I'm going, people are screaming out, 'Shaft!' I get so much love, it's just incredible."

It's a strong B+ film that still feels like a TV show up on the big screen.

  • Shaft. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Jeffrey Wright, Christan Bale, Busta Rhymes, Dan Hedaya, Toni Collette, Richard Roundtree.
  • Directed by John Singleton.
  • Written by Richard Price and Shane Salerno.
  • Produced by Scott Rudin at Paramount.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:53:34 PDT