New York City police detective John Shaft (nephew of the original 1970s detective) goes on a personal mission to make sure the son of a real estate tycoon is brought to justice after a racially-motivated murder.
Shaft is a 2000 American action-crime film directed by John Singleton, and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jeffrey Wright, Christian Bale, Pat Hingle, Toni Collette, Busta Rhymes, Vanessa L. Williams, and Mekhi Phifer. This film is not a remake of the 1971 film of the same name, but rather a sequel, since it features Richard Roundtree briefly reprising his role as the original John Shaft. Jackson's John Shaft character is the nephew of the original John Shaft. The film received fairly positive reviews and opened at the number one position at the box office when it debuted June 16, 2000.
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NYPD Detective John Shaft is called in to investigate the racially motivated murder of Trey Howard, committed by Walter Wade Jr., the son of a wealthy real estate tycoon. Shaft briefly meets a potential eyewitness to the murder, Diane Palmieri, but she disappears soon after and cannot be found for the trial. Wade Jr. is let off on bail and flees to Switzerland.
Two years later, Wade Jr. returns and Shaft rearrests him for leaving the country. During his temporary incarceration at police headquarters, Wade Jr. meets Peoples Hernandez, a Dominican drug lord. Wade Jr., his passport relinquished, is let off on bail again, and in frustration Shaft resigns from the police force, promising to bring Wade Jr. to justice on his own terms. Worried that Shaft might find the missing eyewitness, Wade Jr. hires Peoples to find and kill her first.
Shaft continues his search for Diane, enlisting the help of his friends Detective Carmen Vasquez and taxi driver Rasaan. While visiting Diane's uncooperative mother, Shaft and Carmen realise they are being followed by officers Jack Roselli and Jimmy Groves, who have been paid by Peoples to follow Shaft and get to Diane.
Shaft finally finds Diane Palmieri, but before they can talk, they are attacked by Peoples's men. In the shootout, Shaft kills Peoples' younger brother. Shaft, Diane, Rasaan and Diane's brother manage to escape to Rasaan's apartment, but they are followed by Roselli and Groves. While at the apartment, Diane confesses that she saw the entire murder, and kept silent in return for a payoff from Wade's father.
When Peoples arrives at the location, another shootout takes place. Roselli and Groves, outed as corrupt, are killed by Carmen. In a face-off between Shaft and Peoples, Peoples insinuates that he's been working for Wade, and Shaft kills him. Wade Jr.'s trial finally arrives. Before it can begin, however, he is shot in the chest by Trey's mother, Carla Howard, and dies on the spot.
In the police station, Shaft reiterates to Carmen that he prefers to be a private detective. A woman arrives, asking for Shaft to help her, claiming to have an abusive boyfriend. Shaft is initially reluctant, but when he sees her injury, he decides to help her anyway.
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