REVIEW: Samuel L. Jackson cranks up the laughs and antics in ‘Shaft’

(Warner Bros./Netflix)

Samuel L Jackson is back in one of his most recognizable and iconic roles as John Shaft Jnr. The Shaft movies have been around since 1971 when the always-amazing Richard Roundtree first took up the mantle as John Shaft. Two more sequels followed in 1972 and 1973 before Jackson took on the iconic lead role in 2000. 

In keeping with the story, Jackson played Roundtree’s nephew, an NYPD detective called in to investigate a murder. It was a box office smash, grossing over $102 million worldwide. 

Loved by critics and the audience alike, the Shaft story wasn’t finished yet. As of June 2019, Shaft (2019) started streaming on Netflix. This is the fifth movie in the series and starts with an assignation attempt on the lives of John Shaft and his family by drug lord, Gordito. 

Having had enough, Shaft’s wife, played by Regina Hall, makes the decision to take their son away from the violence. Fast-forward 25 years and John Shaft Jr. (JJ) is all grown up and working as an analyst for the FBI. But when his childhood friend dies in suspicious circumstances, JJ believes he has been murdered. 

Hitting a dead end with his own investigation, JJ decides to enlist the help of his more experienced father. The two haven’t seen each other for more than two decades but once they meet, this is where the movie really takes hold. Instantly, Samuel L Jackson transforms it from a run of the mill whodunit to an all out action packed flick.  

(Warner Bros./Netflix)

But what makes this Shaft movie different from those that have gone before it is the level of comedy. Co-written by Kenya Barris, this has far more laughs giving it a more light-hearted approach. That doesn’t mean the action isn’t there as well – it just co-exists really well with the humor. 

And that humor is top notch. It is also devoid of any political correctness, will probably offend quite a few more sensitive viewers, and unashamedly pokes fun at the differences between old and new generations. There’s even a nod to the fact that, in real life, Jackson is constantly mistaken for Laurence Fishburne in The Matrix. 

Overall it is a breath of fresh air, especially when Richard Roundtree makes his appearance. It is engaging from start to finish and once again solidifies that Samuel L Jackson always brings his A-game. This is his fifth movie released in 2019, the others being Glass, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Not bad work for a man turning 71 years old this year!

While critics may turn their noses up at Shaft’s latest installment, Netflix viewers are going to love it. So grab the popcorn and get comfortable because Shaft has landed at Netflix and you won’t want to miss it.  

About Simone Eddison

Simone Eddison
Simone Eddison has been working in the industry for 19 years and is the Editor of, a film and TV review site. Aside from her passion for movies, she is also an avid sports fan and can be regularly seen cheering on her favourite team, Munster Rugby.