In case you’re not familiar with the blaxploitation genre, this movie will seem a bit odd but it will still be worth watching. Black Dynamite is a vibrant and extremely entertaining action comedy. It’s an homage to all those seventies blaxploitation movies. I think that Shaft, although not an outright member of the genre, is the most popular example. Coffy, Blackenstein, and Blacula might be more on the nose. However, it’s important to note that you don’t need to know any of this to enjoy Black Dynamite. This movie stands firmly on its own three muscular black feet.
I loved the witty script and zany action scenes however it’s the atmosphere and the storytelling that got me. They keep upping the ante until you think that this couldn’t get any crazier but then it does. And still somehow makes sense. In this day and age where action movies of the past are dead, it was so refreshing to see some old-school action. And you know what this means: hilarious one-liners, chase scenes, and a lot of testosterone. Only since this is practically a parody played straight that testosterone doesn’t smell of toxic masculinity.
The star of this movie is none other than Michael Jai White, a legit martial artist who also wrote the script. He fucking is Black Dynamite. And this movie is at the same time a parody and the thing it’s parodying. The universe might explode if it gets a sequel. There have been a couple of attempts to create this type of movie. Undercover Brother tried and I think failed while eighties Im Gonna Git You Sucka and Action Jackson faired a bit better. And we should also mention Pootie Tang written and directed by Louis C.K.
Meet the man, the myth, and the legend, Mr. Black Dynamite. He gets the girls and he kicks the ass. Black is a former CIA operative who knows kung fu and other martial arts now on the path of vengeance. You see, his younger brother Jimmy is dead and the rumor is that The Man is the man responsible. His friend O’Leary gets him back into the CIA and the two of them decide to not only clean up the town but also kill everyone responsible for Jimmy’s death.
Full of action, loveably cliches, and surreal dialogue this is a movie that will barely give you any time to breathe. Especially when you consider the rather short running time of just eighty minutes. And there will be nudity, we shouldn’t forget about the nudity! After all, Black Dynamite is a movie featuring no less than six adult movie stars. And one glorious, albeit prosthetic, penis. Some of the scenes look like renaissance paintings and you could fucking frame them! And the finale is gloriously over-the-top, a logical conclusion to Black Dynamite’s adventure.
This is a rare and refreshing movie in today’s formulaic world of action movies so I think you should savor it. Make a whole evening out of it. Perhaps first watch a couple of real blaxploitation movies to get you in the mood. And then smoke a couple of doobies and play the real thing. Black Dynamite! Black Dynamite (sexy female chorus)! Finally, I have to recommend you another great parody, Don’t Be A Menace. It doesn’t have that much action but it’s funny as shit. Enjoy.
Director: Scott Sanders
Writers: Michael Jai White, Byron Minns, Scott Sanders
Cast: Michael Jai White, Arsenio Hall, Tommy Davidson, Kevin Chapman, Buddy Lewis
Fun Stuff: The Anaconda Malt Liquor scene drew inspiration from the well-known myth that Church’s Chicken puts poison in its food (chicken) to kill black people.