They say that cat Shaft is one baaad mutha
It's his duty, to please that booty.

Hey guys welcome back to The Tagline! I was thinking, that as a legitimate and respected reviewer of fine cinema, it's important sometimes to take some time out and review a movie that really maintains my reputation. So that put me between two movies, I was on the fence between SWAT and Shaft. I knew I wanted Samuel L. to be in it at least. In the end, SWAT once again narrowly avoided review (I'll do it some day when another crisis of faith springs up) and went with Shaft, a fine film with Busta Rhymes in it if ever there was one. Samuel L. basically stars as himself, a no bullshit ass-kicking cop who quits the force after some racist weasel rich kid beats a guy to death in a bar and gets away with it. Only in this scenario that rich snot is Christian Bale somehow, which in the present Batman age is very confusing for us all, but try and stay with me here folks. Let me give you a quick crash-course in Shaft. In the 1970s (1971 was when the original Shaft was made to be precise) there was this cat named Shaft, portrayed by Richard Roundtree (who actually is also in THIS Shaft movie, as his character Shaft, I'll explain more in a bit) who was a private detective in a Blaxploitation movie successful and indicative of the times enough that it was preserved by in the National Film Registry in 2000. The Shaft I am talking about was made that same year incidentally (2000) and stars Sam Jackson as the ORIGINAL John Shaft's nephew, who was named for him, and so also is John Shaft. He takes a fast and loose approach to law enforcement, so it's no surprise that he ends up leaving so that he can pursue street justice. By which I mean a lot of people get gun-murdered.

He is always watching you.
Shaft needs to track down the only eye-witness (Toni Collette) to the murder of Trey Howard by Walter Wade Jr. (Bale). Unfortunately, Wade is actively trying to prevent that, and enlists the help of small-time dope peddler with aspirations to greatness Peoples Hernandez (Jeffrey Wright) to help him. amidst a mix of these guys, People's thugs, dirty cops and some of Shaft's buddies, stuff starts to get pretty messy. I have to give a wave of the hand and nod of the head to Jeffrey Wright here, who turns in a really whacked out performance as People's who is a total psychopath. The most recent movie I saw him in was I THINK Quantum of Solace, but you'll all have the chance to see him on the big screen in November when they release the next Hunger Games film, where he will be portraying Beetee, one of the former victors and an eccentric inventor (yeah kind of a broad range there huh?) He really honestly is so crazy in this movie that it greaks you out, and you just wish he would PUT THAT ICE PICK DOWN STOP STABBING THINGS WITH IT OH GOD. Or maybe that was just my reaction.

If you are looking for thoughtful social commentary, that is not this movie. If you are looking for hard hitting, realistic legal drama, also not this movie. If you are looking for a realistic portrayal of being thrown through a plate glass window, DEFINITELY not this movie. Like seriously, all people do in this movie is smash through windows, suffering little to no real injury. Most of them don't even seem especially stunned. This movie isn't about details, or about realism, it is about one thing. That one this is SAMUEL L JACKSON KICKING PEOPLE'S ASSES. HARD. I think we can all agree, that is something that isn't hard to enjoy. Especially when Busta Rhymes is his wheelman... I guess. I don't know. Critical reception agrees that the reason this movie works is because it's got Sam L. at the forefront, and he makes it happen.

Sam's not done talking to you yet.
So if you want to spend some quality time watching assholes get what's coming to them straight from the man himself, I recommend this movie enthusiastically. It isn't long, and gets straight to the point. Then Jeffrey Wright stabs people with that point. Later some people get shot. A whole bunch of people actually.

That's about all I have to say on the matter, So join me again on Thursday for more movies? I was going to see After Earth but honestly the reviews for it are SO bad that I can't bring myself to spend money on it. So I'm thinking it looks like I might spend Tuesday afternoon watching Fast & Furious 6, because I'm just a real intellectual like that. I'm sorry everyone (not sorry).

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