Monday, 14 May 2012

28/04/2012: Black Dynamite [2009]

There is more than one man with a license to kill, and when Black Dynamite's brother is killed, the African-American action star is going to leave a pool of blood getting justice, whether he is licensed or not. 
Can you dig it?

Black Dynamite is a 2009 homage to the Blaxploitation films of the 1970's, but it is still a refreshing and hilarious movie, that deserved more recognition than it got. Honestly Black Dynamite is the funniest movie I have seen in years, and had me laughing the entire way through. The mix of satire and nostalgia, combined with the seriousness with which Black Dynamite takes itself makes it one hell of a comedy power punch. It captures and reproduces all the aspects of classic 1970's Blaxploitation cinema almost perfectly, and when it isn't it is doing it on purpose.

Black Dynamite draws its influences from a huge pool of movies, some of the more notable ones include: Dolemite, Disco Godfather and Blacula. The film matches many of the characteristics from these 70's movies, from the dialogue, to the cartoonish action sequences, and the sterotypes of African American culture. Black Dynamite is an ex-CIA agent, and an expert in Kung-Fu who will stop at nothing to get the smack off the streets. He was an orphan to you know (I think that was one of the funniest scenes).

"Shh. Mama, you're gonna wake up the rest of the bitches."
Black Dynamite made quite a splash when it was first even mentioned. The movie had a trailer and funding before the script was even written. Then after being filmed in 20 days, it premiered at Sundance and then went on to win Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival. However, even with all this excitement, I somehow missed Black Dynamite.

I am somewhat disappointed to learn that the released version is six minutes shorter than the one shown originally at Sundance, but it does explain the films strange 84 minute length. However while I would argue that this is short for a movie, it fits Black Dynamite just fine. While the movie gets all of the characteristics right, its story is probably it's weakest part. Extremely fast, Black Dynamite probably crams in a good 3 movies worth of events, but when it comes to Black Dynamite, the more the merrier. The story starts out pretty standard, Black Dynamite, a dedicated community member, always willing to "take care of the girls when they're down and out and ain't have no pimp." So when a epidemic of smack hits the streets, and even the orphanage, Black Dynamite will declare war, and clean up the streets. However where it goes from there is a little unpredictable as the trail leads all the way to the biggest house of power of "The Man", the white house.

"First Lady, I'm sorry I pimp-slapped you into that china cabinet. I used excessive force. Oftentimes, I cross the line, but I try to do so in the name of what's right."
Honestly I could quote this movie for days, unfortunately my memory sucks in that department, and when you consider that almost every single line that is spoken in this movie is fucking genious, I might as well memorize the whole script. The wardrobe for this movie is also perfect, and features what I must imagine was an abundance of Afro wigs, bell bottoms and pimping canes. However, to truly capture the look of 1970's Blaxploitation this movie was filmed on Super 16 Colour Reversal Kodak film stock, which gives it the high contrast and super saturation look, the original 1970's movies would have had.

Black Dynamite also features a number of great action scenes, with everything from Kung-Fu, to explosions, to pimp-slapping. The cast is great as well, creating the perfect characters for this movie. Combine that with the amazing soundtrack, and the movie's only fault is the story it crammed too much into and didn't go deep enough into. However, I think that was the best way to do it, too much focus on the story would have detracted from the rest of the movie's awesomeness and humour.

Black Dynamite even makes hanging up the phone hilarious.
My favourite thing about Black Dynamite however is definitely the soundbite that plays every time Black Dynamite does anything awesome. "Dynomite!.... Dynomite!" All in all, Black Dynamite is easily the funniest movie I've watched in the last few years, capturing every nostalgic moment of Blaxploitation in the 1970's down to the visible boom-mic, and creating a great satire filled comedy. I will almost certainly be watching this again, and hoping for the sequel. Can you dig it?

Black Dynamite IMdb


    I feel like if every movie ever made added a line from Black Dynamite then subsequently every movie ever made would be amazing. This is a cult favorite of mine for sure and I'm excited to see what they do with the animated BD series that is coming to Adult Swim. Loved your review!

    1. The animated series is going through again? Awesome!

      and every movie should use a line from BD, that would be incredible. I've heard a few of them referenced reused actually.

      Lets hope they make a sequel, rumour is it is rumour.