When spoiled college kid Walter Wade kills a young black student, John Shaft makes the arrest. Walter skips bail and flees the country, and after two years of waiting, Shaft hauls him back into custody as Walter secretly returns to the States. But when Walter's wealthy father posts bail once again, Walter is back on the streets and looking to put Shaft in a body bag. So are two of Shaft's corrupt colleagues, Jack Roselli and Jimmy Grovitch, as well as a Dominican drug lord, Peoples Hernandez, who wants revenge on Shaft for humiliating him in the neighborhood he rules. For backup, Shaft has only his two closest pals: Carmen, a colleague on the police force; and his streetwise confidant, Rasaan. Meanwhile, Shaft has to track down the one murder witness, Diane Palmieri, who can put all of his enemies away for good even as the toughest killers in the city close in on him.
Samuel L. Jackson, Vanessa Williams, Jeffrey Wright, Christian Bale, Busta Rhymes, Dan Hedaya, Toni Collette, Richard Roundtree, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Josef Sommer, Lynne Thigpen, Philip Bosco, Pat Hingle, Lee Tergesen, Daniel von Bargen, Francisco Taveras, Sonja Sohn, Peter McRobbie, Zach Grenier, Richard Cocchiaro, Ron Castellano, Freddie Ricks, Sixto Ramos, Andre Royo, Richard Barboza, Mekhi Phifer, Gano Grills, Catherine Kellner, Angela Pietropinto, Joe Quintero, Lanette Ware, Stu Riley, Mark Zeisler, Capital Jay, Bonz Malone, Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell, Scott Lucy, Will Chase, Jeff Branson, Jerome Preston Bates, John Elsen, Lawrence Taylor, Caprice Benedetti, John Cunningham, Fidel Vicioso, F Valentino Morales, Travis Brandon Rosa, Luis Torres, John Wojda, Gordon Parks