Action, Action Comedy, Blaxploitation, Martial Arts
This is the story of 1970s African-American action legend Black Dynamite. The Man killed his brother, pumped heroin into local orphanages, and flooded the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor. Black Dynamite was the one hero willing to fight The Man all the way from the blood-soaked city streets to the hallowed halls of the Honky House.
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To call "Black Dynamite" the most quotable film of the year would be an understatement. This film gets so much right, it's crazy. A blaxploitation parody of the highest order, "Black Dynamite" was a huge hit at Sundance, was one to the first films to be purchased and has now attracted a rabid cult following. Easily understood when you finally see the film and realize how terrific it really is.
The film stars Michael Jai White as Black Dynamite, the most bad ass motha to ever hit the streets. When his kid brother Jimmy is killed by 'The Man', Black Dynamite retrieves his license to kill and does battle against local drug dealers. But, Black Dynamite isn't all bad -- he also takes time to care for the local whores in the neighborhood when they're without their pimp. He also has a soft spot for the kids, especially orphans. The film takes Black Dynamite from the drug-riddled streets of his community to the jungles of Kung Fu Island to The White House. Hell, you even get Abraham Lincoln's ghost.
The performances here are rock solid. Michael Jai White is pitch perfect as Black Dynamite and really does show just how overlooked he has been all these years. He has this quirky and comedic intensity and that just works so well and I hope this turns into a franchise for him. The coalition of pimps also features some pretty hysterical performances from people like Arsenio Hall, Cedric Yarbrough, Brian McKnight and Obba Babatunde. Tommy Davidson is probably the only actor in the whole film who doesn't seem to understand the type of humor that everyone else does, but even he's entertaining.
I highly recommend this film to just about everyone. It's the funniest film of 2009 and it's obvious that Scott Sanders knows what he's doing behind the camera. And to leave you with a quote from the man himself:
"Euphoria, shut the fuck up! I know that was you, I ain't even gotta look! I should send you back to Crenshaw Pete with his hot coat hangers, bitch, would you like that?"
- added 03/12/2010, 02:18 AM
Agreed, this movie is freaking incredible. There
are lines in here that will be quoted until the
end of time.
"Take your filthy
black hands off the presidential dinnerware, you
"First Lady, I'm
sorry I pimp slapped you into that china
"Man, I mean these cats
looked mean! Meaner than two fat motherfuckers
wrestling over pork chops and greens, can you dig
- added 03/12/2010, 09:55 AM
There's a reason this flick ended up on the
Blockbuster's rack as quickly as it did...
It certainly starts up strong... but it
loses it's punch long before the final reel.
By the end of this flick, the humor seems forced
and the last scene runs endlessly on... as if the
filmmakers simply didn't know how to appropriately
end the damned thing.
I'm all for
parody (and I have great affection for the
Blaxsploitation films of the 70's), but this
film's heavy-handed delivery feels threadbare by
the time the credits roll.
I suppose that it
is because this film works so hard to be
over-the-top from the get-go, it has a hard time
sustaining intensity throughout it's full running
Still, for a late night rental, a
lot of fun can be had with this guilty pleasure of
a film... but it takes more than a bucketful of
racial jokes and tired sight gags to really
impress me these days with a comedy.
Fun but deeply flawed... 6/10. 7/10 if you just
dig on retro one-liners.
- added 03/12/2010, 04:37 PM
Well, I looked at it like this: I got a good
chuckle out of the opening advertisement for
Anaconda malt liquor, I was still laughing during
the credits while watching the deleted scenes, and
I was getting at least a grin on my face every
thirty seconds in between. That's what a comedy
does, and Black Dynamite did it well.
As a parody film, the movie also worked out
superbly. Take out the jokes and the campiness,
and you have a film that could have been a
legitimate blaxploitation release from the
seventies. A lot of parodies seem to forget that
to "parody", you really have to
"emulate" at the core. This one didn't,
and again, it was hilarious from start to finish.
- added 03/12/2010, 05:27 PM
I hear you, Chad... but to be honest, this just
didn't really have the legs for a full feature
It started off hysterical, I
whole-heartedly agree with you there... but as the
film wore on, it just started to feel forced to
me. The intensity of the film itself just fizzled
The problem with this movie (IMHO) is
that as a whole is that it didn't really parody
the real guts of Blaxploitation... just the
surface affectations. I know, it's just a comedy
picture... but if you want to stay funny for the
entire length of a full feature film, you've got
to push a few more boundaries and not rely on the
same sort of easy Saturday Night Live/ Mad TV gags
that made up the bulk of this film.
just didn't have the guts of the films it was
trying to emulate... and it actually just got
downright silly towards the end... the whole final
fight scene was downright disappointing and a real
letdown after all the build-up to that point.
Just didn't seem funny enough for me...
It takes more than tricky film stock effects and
hanging boom shots to make a really telling
parody... this film had all the details right...
but lacked the self-righteous soul of the films it
was purported to make fun of.
and weak at it's finale... this film felt rushed
Again... agree to disagree... I
understand your affection for the film for sure...
it's just didn't hit me that way... and while I
was very young at the time, I actually grew up
with those films Black Dynamite emulates. This
just felt like an overlong SNL skit to me.