Black Dynamite

Dir. Scott Sanders
IMDb 7.2 – Rotten Tomatoes 85%
Nominated for Best Director & Best Screenplay at Black Reel Awards

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This is the story of the former CIA agent & African American action hero Black Dynamite! When “The Man” kills his younger brother; Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White) vows to find the men responsible, while cleaning the streets up from a new drug that’s been harming the black community. Black Dynamite is the only man willing to fight The Man. With his Karate, DYNAMITE is ready to whoop every jive mouthafucka from the mean streets all the way to the “Honky House”. Now can you dig it?

Black Dynamite is a brilliant Satire of the Blaxploitation films from the 70s. For those wondering what a Satire and Blaxplotation are… Well for Satire; I would say is taking a serious situation and adding some humor and mockery to it. The characters in the film are very serious in what they are doing but it comes off incredibly funny, and quite genius (think Pulp Fiction or Dr. Strangelove). Blaxploitation is a genre that was mainly black people fighting against the daily struggles that the man imposed on them (think Shaft). Merge the two together and you have one of the most authentic and funniest satires in cinematic history!

The story begins when Black Dynamite’s younger brother is killed by a peculiar group of men. During Black Dynamite’s karate session (which he does not like to have interrupted) He gets a call hearing the news of his brothers death and is ready to find whoever is responsible. He hits the streets of the ghetto to find leads to the case, and whooping some serious ass in the process with his trusty karate skills, and nun-chucks. In the process the Government is promoting a delicious new beverage for the black community called Anaconda Malt Liquor which gives you Oooooooo and pumping drugs into the black community. Black Dynamite teams up with a few black Panthers, a pimp, and a lounge club owner in order to restore the black community to it’s natural ways.

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The movie is pure comedy. While watching this film Black Dynamite just does whatever the hell he wants. The law enforcement fear him and the ladies are spellbound to him. It’s hard to explain in words how funny this movie truly is; It is possibly the fact that a huge “super nigga” is going around with extraordinary karate skills. It is one of those films that you just need to watch and you won’t ever regret hitting play.

The acting is in the film is great. Michael Jai White brings Black Dynamite to life, and makes it believable that he really is a 1970s action legend! Tommy Davidson plays a hilarious pimp named Cream Corn. Bryon Minns plays Bullhorn a lounge club owner who has some clever rhymes to any and everything he says. The other actors in here are Arsenio Hall, Kym Whitley, Byron Minns, and Salli Richardson as the righteous Gloria.

This may come as a surprise but this was made in 2009. The film feels very authentic to the 1970s. In order to make the film feel authentic, the director (Scott Sanders) and Michael Jai White decided to film the movie on 16mm color reversal film to achieve the extra grain and contrast. To add onto that, the costumes and locations are reminiscent of that time period. The most important aspect to achieve that 1970s atmosphere was the music in the film. The editor Adrian Younge jumped at the opportunity to create the film’s score. He composed the original music with some funky instruments, singing, and most importantly soul! All these aspects combined helped create the atmosphere.

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A flaw for this film that may bother some is the fact they really wanted to make it feel authentic. In the 70s Blaxploitation films, the directors did not have a lot of money to re-do scenes as much as they pleased. There were boom mics in the shot, mis-read lines, and horrendous jump-cuts. Well Sanders and White thought it would be great to capture those mistakes and purposely add it to the film. Ironically they ended up making their own mistakes; for example in the gun fight scene outside the restaurant the gunmen get out the car to shoot, and the driver gets out without putting the brake on and has to get back in the car to put on the break midst a gun fight. An intentional scene they included is when Bullhorn is fighting a dark-skinned man, then the film cuts and the man turns into a light-skinned man as a stunt double. A good majority of the “mistakes” are on purpose.

Overall, this is a hilarious film that is entertaining! I recommend you check this film out when the opportunity presents itself. To make it easier for you. Here is a link for the film online! http://www.solarmovie.so/link/play/1319499/

Rating: ★★★ / ★★★★★

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“Fiendish Doctor Wu, YOU DONE FUCKED UP NOW!”

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