Monday, February 8, 2010

Review - Black Dynamite (2009)

“Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery!”

Director: Scott Sanders
Starring: Michael Jai White, Byron Minns, Tommy Davidson, Salli Richardson Whitfield
Screenplay: Michael Jai White, Byron Minns

Black Dynamite is one slick mutha who gets all the ladies and dishes out street justice to those who do him wrong. When he finds out that his brother is killed by drug dealers he takes it upon himself to bust a few heads to find his brothers killer. I know this sounds like a typical action movie from the blaxploitation era, but instead this is a loving tribute that at times can skewer some of the worst elements of the genre. Yes ladies and gentleman we have a parody movie and better than that it’s smart and really funny.

First things first I have to give major credit to Michael Jai White. His turn as Black Dynamite is awesome and he attacks his role with such zeal that you can’t help but love the character. It also helps that Michael Jai White is trained in martial arts and so the fights are often better than those in the movies they are parodying. But not to worry Byron Minns plays a character called Bullhorn who shows how bad the kung fu was in some of the movies; dodgy editing and all.

Scott Sanders also brings the thunder, the look of the movie just screams of movies of the era, and even though the story takes a dive into ridiculousness Scott makes sure that it’s always the focus and not the jokes which makes them even funnier as there is no pause for laughter, its just a full throttle ride. He also has a great eye for action which is very handy in this case as Michael Jai White does bring the goods and is impressive to watch. Overall direction is handled with care and love of what they are doing.

Passion just flows through this movie; at no time can you really say that someone is phoning it in. The jokes are funny and while some break the forth wall they never stop the movie, the plot glorifies the goofiness of where some of the stories go in the third act, actors really step up to amplify the clichés yet never does it get annoying, basically this movie really does nothing wrong. Maybe the only negative that I can think of is if you’re not into cult cinema or blaxploitation then you will probably miss most the jokes in the movie. Still I would recommend a try as this really deserves to be held along such classic parody movies as Airplane, and Shaun of the Dead to name a few.

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