The first reviews are in for “Shaft,” the third iteration of the franchise about the ‘black private dick who’s a sex machine with all the chicks’ following the 1970s original with Richard Roundtree and the 2000 follow-up with Samuel L. Jackson as Roundtree’s character’s nephew.
The new film follows Jackson’s character’s son (Jessie T. Usher), a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT who needs help to solve his best friend’s untimely death. That comes from his absentee dad and old school cop with his own agenda.
With 28 reviews counted on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie is pulling in a rather flaccid 36% (4.95/10). That’s the lowest ranking of the franchise thus far, behind the 87% (7.47/10) of the original and 67% (6.09/10) of the 2000 film which also starred Christian Bale and Jeffrey Wright. Here’s a sampling of the less than tumescent reviews:
“A strange, angry attack on modernity that feels like the result of a group of bitter men griping about the metrosexualisation of a younger generation.” – Benjamin Lee, Guardian
“Remember “Shaft”? How about more “Shaft,” but with more hacky jokes about millennials and an incredibly ugly homophobic streak?” – Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
“Shaft plays more like an Expendables version of the original films, a shadow of its former self that revels in a cartoonishly hyper-masculine nostalgia of a bygone era.” – Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm
“Despite the tired plot, and potentially problematic jokes, Shaft is a decent action comedy anchored by a hilarious performance by Samuel L. Jackson.” – Charles Barfield, The Playlist
The R-rated action-adventure comedy opens this Friday in cinemas across the United States where it will have a several week exclusive run before premiering on Netflix around the rest of the world sometime in July.