Directed by Scott Sanders
Starring Michael Jai White, Byron Minns, Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Review by Jordan
“DY-NO-MITE!” Not every character is worthy of their own three-syllabled musical introduction every time they enter an integral scene, but Black Dynamite, he’s one cat that demands it.
There are drugs on the street, orphans over-dosing and his little brother Jimmy has just been killed by “The Man,” so ex-CIA agent, Vietnam veteran and apparent pimp Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White) must again wield his .44 Magnum and nun chucks and clean up the streets, leading him from the local orphanage, to Kung-Fu Island, to the White House as the conspiracy grows deeper. Along the way he is joined by activist and hot mama Gloria (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), his loud, tough, rhyme talking old friend Bullhorn (Byron Minns, also a co-writer) and frequenter of hair salons and not-so-tough Cream Corn (Tommy Davidson) – all being in awe of his smooth talking, silk suits, unbridled intelligence and unashamed blood-thirstiness.
Whether you’re selling smack to the kids, interrupting his kung-fu (poor Aunt Billy), finishing his sentences or using your political power to subdue the masses and spread malt liquor through streets, this ‘powder keg of black fury about to explode’ will put a stop to your fiendish plans in the style only Blaxploitation films can provide. I’m sure it goes without saying by now; I love this movie.
It has been in vogue lately to attempt to re-capture the vibe of exploitation films of a past era, and in my opinion, Scott Sanders’ and Michael Jai White’s awesome Black Dynamite feels more authentic than just about any other effort, including Rodriguez and Tarantino’s Grindhouse effort, as well as Machete. Working as both a loving throwback and nigh exact reincarnation of its bygone genre, this is a comedy for both cinema aficionados and those just seeking Friday night entertainment; overflowing with enough poor production design, bad acting, awkward dialogue and sudden, random acts of violence to warm every recess of a film-lovers heart. Perhaps it does veer off track towards its outlandish finale, and loses some of its small-world charm, but in being a slight disappointment it only draws itself closer to the titles it references.
Any movie that I can easily watch twice in the same night must have something going for it. Black Dynamite has a million things going for it.
He’s super bad. He’s outta sight. He’s “DY-NO-MITE!”
4.5 Vietnam flashbacks out of 5