Black Dynamite Movie Review

This outrageously wacky blaxploitation pastiche keeps us laughing nonstop for its first hour, simply because it plays everything dead straight. After this point, it may still be sharply funny, but the thrill is gone.

Muscled ladies' man Black Dynamite (White) is a legend in 1970s drug-ridden Los Angeles. When his brother is murdered in a drug deal gone wrong, he teams with his former CIA colleague O'Leary (Chapman) to solve the mystery. He gets help from his pals, the flaming Cream Corn (Davidson) and tough-guy Bullhorn (Minns), and also has time to romance the orphanage activist Gloria (Richardson). And the trail to the killer leads him through the kung fu treachery of the fiendish Dr Wu (Yuan) right to Tricky Dicky's White House.

Director Sanders hilariously captures the period through an exaggerated production design that's packed with gigantic afros, huge jewellery, pimp-mobiles and costumes that look like lurid wallpaper. The grainy, brown-hued cinematography sometimes struggles amusingly to keep up with Dynamite's quick moves, and the film is packed with wobbly camerawork, groovy songs, gratuitous screen-splitting and an hysterical barrage of musical stings.

And then there's the dialog, which is unapologetically absurd and delivered with straight-faced precision by the up-for-it cast. White is almost always shirtless, flexing his muscles and riotously growling his way through each scene, punctuating most lines with "Can you dig it?" Black Dynamite's way with the ladies is superbly well-played, generating terrific chemistry with Richardson, Whitley and others. And the starry supporting characters, all of whom have witty names, all get big laughs along the way.

It's a bit frustrating that the inventiveness seems to dry up about halfway through. The filmmakers maintain the comical tone, but don't take it anywhere else; the movie gets too bogged down in the irrelevant plot while repeating the same jokes and continuing the clever running gags. Sanders continually finds ingenious ways around his limited budget, such as using creaky old footage to add stunts and explosions to action sequences. But by the end, we begin to think it might have worked even better as a 30-minute comedy sketch.

Cast & Crew

Director : Scott Sanders

Producer : Jenny Wiener Steingart, Jon Steingart


Comments

Black Dynamite Rating

" Good "

Rating: 15, 2009

Editors Recommendations

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

The Cannes Film festival is sneaking up fast. The Oscars felt like they were 8 minutes ago...

Is The Cannes Palme d'Or Heading David Cronenberg’s Way for 'Map to the Stars'?

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

Next weekend's CounterPoint Festival will be the event's first year at a new 5000-acre site, featuring...

CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return of Outkast

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Superhero movies have been striving towards the almost unobtainable goal set...

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' - Not Perfect, But Really, Really Fun

Ricky Gervais is "Hooked" on David Brent Again - Former Paper Merchant To Return

A return for David Brent has been mooted ever since the character was wheeled...

Ricky Gervais is

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing "Made In America" To Downtown Los Angeles

Jay Z and the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti have announced that the rapper’s...

This Labor Day, Jay Z Is Bringing

Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

The editor-in-chief of US VOGUE magazine is reportedly determined for the annual...

Anna Wintour - Anna Wintour wants 'more exclusive' Met Ball 2014

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

The comedy classic 'Mrs. Doubtfire' is reportedly set to return to the big-screen...

'Mrs Doubtfire' Sequel Will Be Made 21 Years After The Original

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Of Mice And Men premiered on Broadway last night, giving critics a chance to cast...

'Of Mice And Men' Brings Out Broadway Talents Of James Franco, Chris O'Dowd

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'

Sofia Vergara has been speaking about her nerves at shooting a ménage a trois with...

Sofia Vergara On Her Menage a Trois in Woody Allen's 'Fading Gigolo'


More recommendations