Film Review: ‘Shaft’

The new “Shaft” is an upgrade that’s also a downgrade.

It’s not a “blaxploitation” movie, whatever that would now look like.

It is, rather, a rudely conventional, entertainingly junky badass-for-the-megaplex action comedy.

Yet since the film has the audacity — or maybe it’s just the shameless huckster savvy — to go out with the exact same title as the 1971 Gordon Parks classic, as well as the fun-in-a-violent-forgettable-way 2000 John Singleton remake, you may ask: What is this, exactly? A sequel that’s also a reboot, though with the same cast?Actually, it’s the ultimate subordination of street-thriller attitude: the reduction of “Shaft” to that old thing, a trash-talking shoot-the-works buddy-cop movie.

For a couple of barely respectable hours, the film dishes up the cookie-cutter combustability of crime-fighting partners who are temperamental opposites: a veteran and a rookie; an office naïf who goes by the book and a maverick who

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