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Shaft (2019)


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Shaft (2019) Review


Shaft is an American action crime film directed by Tim Story and written by Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow. The film stars Jessie Usher, Samuel L. Jackson, and Richard Roundtree. It is the fifth film in the Shaft series and a direct sequel to Shaft (2000).

It was released in US theaters on June 14, 2019, and internationally on June 28, 2019 by Netflix.


In 1989, John Shaft II, his wife Maya Babanikos and their young son John "JJ" Shaft Jr. survived an assassination attempt by drug lord Pierro "Gordito" Carrera. Concerned that Shaft II's lifestyle will put them in danger, Maya leaves him and raises JJ alone. 25 years later, JJ is an FBI agent and cybersecurity expert with a degree from MIT. After his childhood friend Karim dies of a heroin overdose, JJ concludes that he must have been murdered. JJ travels to Harlem to investigate Manuel, the drug dealer who runs the neighborhood and sold the heroin that supposedly killed Karim, but is violently evicted from his property. While receiving treatment for a minor injury at the hospital by JJ's other childhood friend and his own crush on him Sasha, he shows him Karim's toxicology report. She points out that the amount of heroin in Karim's system would have killed him long before he could have taken so much for himself, suggesting that he was indeed murdered. With no other recourse, JJ turns to Shaft II for help. Shaft II agrees to help after realizing that JJ's case may lead him to Gordito. The two begin investigating together, but JJ's progressive white-collar perspective on vital confrontations with the old-school street lanes of Shaft II. After confronting Manuel again, the Shafts investigate "Brothers Watching Brothers" from the drug rehab clinic that Karim was a part of. There they learn that Karim stopped going to rehab to attend services at a mosque that the FBI currently suspects of terrorism.

The next day, Sasha accompanies JJ and Shaft II to investigate the mosque, where they are removed from the premises after the imam notices JJ's FBI insignia. Shaft II convinces JJ and Sasha to have a romantic dinner together, and the Shafts then investigate a convenience store owned by a woman named Bennie Rodriguez who donated $ 500,000 to the mosque. Maya calls JJ to inform him that she is coming to New York to meet a man for a date; she is heard and followed by Shaft II. The Shafts survive two separate assassination attempts orchestrated by Bennie, and Maya forces Shaft II to remove JJ from the investigation for his own safety.

JJ hands over the evidence they have gathered to the FBI, who arrests the imam of the mosque. However, the media accuses the FBI of Islamophobia, and JJ's boss Vietti fires him. JJ returns to Shaft II and hears a conversation about Gordito, which makes him believe that his father was tending him the entire time. While Shaft II visits and reconciles with Maya, JJ and Sasha track Bennie down to an abandoned warehouse and discover that "Brothers Watching Brothers" is the front line of a drug trafficking ring; Karim was killed when he threatened to blow the whistle on his operation. JJ is caught by the smugglers; Sasha is captured while JJ is rescued by Shaft II. The two visit JJ's grandfather, John Shaft Sr., to gain more firepower, and Shaft Sr. decides to accompany them on an assault on Gordito's attic. The Shafts kill drug dealers after JJ has an intense fight with Cutty and kills him, avenging Karim's death. He rescues Sasha before being confronted at gunpoint by Fatty. Chubby tries to shoot JJ to annoy Shaft II, but Shaft II takes the bullet and shoots Chubby, causing him to crash out of a window and drop dead before collapsing. As a consequence, Shaft II recovers in hospital. JJ and Sasha kiss and start a relationship. Vietti offers JJ his job, but JJ turns it down in favor of joining his father and his grandfather in their IP business.


Samuel L. Jackson as John Shaft II.

Jessie Usher as John "JJ" Shaft, Jr.

Richard Roundtree as John Shaft, Sr.

Alexandra Shipp as Sasha Arias.

Regina Hall as Maya Babanikos.

Matt Lauria as Major Gary Cutworth.

Titus Welliver as Special Agent Vietti.

Method Man as Freddie P.

Isaach de Bankolé as Pierro 'Gordito' Carrera.

Avan Jogia as Karim Hassan.

Robbie Jones as Sergeant Keith Williams.

Lauren Velez as Bennie Rodriguez.