John Shaft is back to his ass-whooping ways, but things have definitely changed since we saw him 19 years ago.
While the first two Shafts are iconic for their badder-than-bad avenger ways, John Shaft Jr. (or JJ, played by Jessie T. Usher) is decidedly less trigger-happy and a lot less slick. According to Deadline, JJ, an MIT-graduated cyber security expert, seeks out his estranged dad (Samuel L. Jackson's Shaft II) for help investigating his best friend's death. While he may know how to work a computer, he needs his dad's "equal opportunity ass whooper" ways to navigate the heroin underworld of Harlem. The two eventually team up with the original screen Shaft, Richard Roundtree of the 1971 blaxploitation classic, for a family adventure that is equal parts comedy and action.
Fans of the first two movies might be surprised by this film's lighthearted nature — the script was penned by black-ish's Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow — but the best thing about Shaft is that every new instalment manages to update the franchise without disowning the past. The comedy is far from the gritty crime films of before, but it ensures that we know exactly how badass both Jackson and Roundtree still are. As Shaft II says, "If [James Bond] was real, he'd think he was me."
Check out the trailer above, and get ready to dig it when Shaft hits theatres on June 14.