'Shaft' (1971) - Movie Review

Wikipedia describes "Shaft" as a "blaxploitation crime action film." John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) is a private investigator, hired to recover the kidnapped daughter of a Harlem crime boss. We first see him crossing a very busy New York street against a red light: when a driver honks at him and tells him to get out of the way, he gives them the finger. I was on the side of the driver.

Shaft is just so damn cool that he's rude to everyone: black, white, male, female ... his most polite interactions were with a stool pigeon who he gave money to and treated like a friend, and a street kid that he also gave money to (which may have been the only decent thing he did in the movie). And he's nice to the very gay bartender across the street from his apartment (who also grabs his ass). The soundtrack and dialogue are both agonizingly Seventies, and the drama is mediocre at best. I get why the film is important: it was the first and most lucrative of all the Blaxploitation films, starting a massive movement. But being "important" doesn't equate to being "good."