They say out with the old and in with the new a lot but sometimes change isn’t everything and “Shaft (2019)” is another in the latest example as to why. I would say that this was only made to cash in on nostalgia but I’m not even sure if that was its purpose because it doesn’t do that. Regardless, there’s some things that I liked here: the acting is obviously a plus, action sequences are tolerable enough to where you’re entertained despite the last one being shot to a point where I couldn’t see what was going on half the time, the comedy can be funny at times specifically when it comes to the line deliveries and......let me be honest now: the plot is nothin special but it’s meh.
Now I’d rather have a predictable story with a plot that’s easy to follow than a story that’s either boring, doesn’t make any sense, doesn’t have a plot to follow or just pisses me off.....but that still doesn’t help in the film’s favor since you know what’s gonna happen. And the characters don’t help all that much since none of them are completely fleshed out or even memorable in the long run. Needless to say, while the comedy is one of the highest points of the movie, it’s also one of the lowest points through the entirety of its runtime because it relies heavily on homophobia, racism, and misogyny for its humor and let’s face it, somebody’s gonna get offended by all of that sooner or later.
Me, I laughed more than I got offended.
Pacing is rather slow, the film’s hybrid tone of drama and comedy don’t mesh together as well as it should and the production values make the entire runtime feel more like the first airing of a TV-pilot than a compelling 2 hr thrill ride. And the less I speak about the Shaft lore with women being objects and men never apologizing, the better.
I mean, granted, it’s only a movie at the end of the day but keep this in mind: a movie like this whose comedy and masculinity can be considered offensive by some people is taken very seriously in today’s standards as opposed to the 1970’s. You can’t take something that worked back then and throw it back in the fray expecting to get the same result.