Director Tim Story’s confusingly-titled Shaft (it’s a revival-sequel to the 1971 and 2000 films, not a remake) is a bit like Austin Powers – that is, if that movie had wanted to convince you that Austin was a little retrograde, yes, but still a genuine badass and the embodiment of true masculinity. It plays out closer to a sitcom than an update of the Blaxploitation franchise in that regard, but that’s only to be expected seeing as it was written by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and The Goldbergs writer-producer Alex Barrow.
The problem isn’t necessarily that the movie wants to be funny; it’s that it seems obtuse to how out of touch and regressive it is, much like the older generations of John Shafts here. Shaftis a bland requel that sacrifices the qualities that make this franchise relevant, in order to crack tired jokes about millennials instead.
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