John Shaft Plays James Bond in Africa
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 01/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though the second sequel to "Shaft," there's no remaining trace of the first two "blaxploitation" films. "Shaft in Africa" looks more like a big-budget 007 film, and instead of Roger Moore, put Richard Roundtree in the hero's role. The pair of director John Guillermin and writer Stirling Silliphant will definetely reminds you of "Towering Inferno," pinnacle of the "disaster movies" in vogue in the 70s, and "Shaft in Africa" has the same feeling -- it is packed with actions and violence, plus costly set (or shots on location). This time Shaft, in order to stop the modern-day slave trading in Africa, has to endure a chains of brutal attacks from enemies and the scorching heat of Afraica. The globe-trotting story leads him from NYC to Ethiopia, and then to France. And Shaft doesn't forget that he is THE sexy guy; Shaft's love is played by beautiful princess Vonetta McGee, and he even spends a good time with a white girl in bed.If you expect "blaxploitation" films in "Shaft in Africa" you may be diappointed. It is no longer that. The total tone is nearer to films of James Bond (to which Shaft refers briefly) and actions never stop coming on screen between Shaft's one-liners. As far as the actions are concerned, it never lets you down, and you will see unique things here and there that you can find only in the 70s: in one scene Shaft, completely naked, proves that he can do stick-fighting (!). Overall, "Shaft in Africa" is a good action film. Often its violence is excessive, but the film's pace is always slick and Roundtree plays convincingly the cool and sexy hero. There is no more Isaac Hayes theme song, but Four Tops's great song will make you forget that. And don't miss the airport scene in which Shaft has to take a photo with a lion. This lion (of course, he is a real one) is audacious enough to give him a quick, threatening look to him. Shaft (or Roundtree) doesn't look happy about that."
International Mission for Shaft !
Mountain Man | 05/09/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The tagline(s) for the third installment in the Shaft trilogy says it all. "The brother man in the motherland", & "Shaft is stickin it all the way". Shaft is recruited to stop a slavery racket..(Africa to France). Shaft,(Richard Roundtree) is in top form as a hard lovin, hard fightin, detective/spy in this flick. Shaft abandons his "iron" and uses a stick in some well choreographed fighting scenes. Plenty of violence is served up as the man overseeing the slavery racket, Vincent Amafi (Frank Finlay) is aware of Shaft's identity, thanks to a double agent, Wassa (Debebe Eshetu). Shaft also has his hands full with two beautiful women, as he romances the lovely Vonetta McGee and is seduced by the alluring Neda Arneric. (Vonetta McGee) Aleme - is the daughter of the Emir Ramila (Cy Grant) who hires Shaft to infiltrate the international slave trading racket. Shaft will pose as local native, who will make the trek from Africa to Paris to bring down the racket working from the inside. Aleme gives Shaft a tutorial in the tribal customs and the language spoken preparing him for his trip to Africa. She initially resists Shaft's charms, but of course he ultimately wins her over. Plenty of nudity is served up in the last of the Shaft trilogy, including Shaft himself in a nude stick fighting sequence.
Aboard the slave smuggling ship, that will travel across the Mediterranean sea, Shaft encounters the gorgeous Neda Arneric. (Arneric is a young Yugoslavian actress who makes her American film debut as Amafi's mistress..Jazar). In an earlier scene, Jazar volunteers to travel to Africa and distract Shaft so that Wassa can take out our hero. Upon boarding the ship, Shaft gives her the eye as she is looking super sexy in her blue bikini. Jazar reciprocates the attraction and immediately provides instructions to Wassa on how he must get Shaft to the top deck that evening. Wassa wants to take out Shaft right away, but Jazar blackmails him, thus ensuring she gets to experience "the sex machine to all the chicks". That evening, Jazar lures Shaft to her cabin, and they share an incredibly steamy interracial love scene. Arneric is a slavic beauty, but merely serves as eye candy, as her only purpose in the film is to sleep with Shaft. Although Shaft's cover is blown from the beginning of the film, he makes his way to Paris, avoiding several attempts on his life. Once in Paris, he brings down the the slavery racket, as he frees the itinerant workers from bondage. Shaft offers plenty of one liners much like british agent...007. One line is totally hilarious when Shaft posing as an African, is asked if he knows how to ride a camel to cross the desert. His retort, "no ride camel, ride ass". The musical score and more specifically, Johnny Pate's guitar work, spices up some scenes. The Four Tops provide the theme song, "Are You Man Enough". This film definitely has a Bond edge to it, as Shaft gets a couple of gadgets for his mission. A definite step away from the first two Shaft films and this one completed the Shaft trilogy."
Richard Roundtree. Superstar.
David Baldwin | Philadelphia,PA USA | 05/16/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's a great scene in the movie. A representative of a group trying to break up a slavery ring in Africa tries to recruit Shaft by saying his family was brought to America to pick cotton. Suavely dragging on a cigarette Shaft retorts that his family was in tobacco. This is a good fish out of water vehicle for Shaft. Richard Roundtree further cements the title character as a classic screen figure not unlike Bogart. The story is a good one and keeps your attention throughout. The flaw to the film is the slick direction by John Guillermin("The Towering Inferno", "King Kong") that is a sharp contrast to the panache Gordon Parks brought to the previous two Shaft entries. Nonetheless, "Shaft in Africa" is a piece with it's predecessors."