Reviewed by: JimmyO
Michael Jai White
What's it about
Black Dynamite is a man on a mission. Not only is he looking to take revenge on the murder of his brother, he is also looking to clean up the drug ridden streets. That’s right, he’s a bad mutha f*cka!
Is it good movie?
In this time of crazy f*ckers, we need a real bad ass that can clean up these streets. And no it ain’t Shaft, this hero happens to be Black Dynamite… I’m talkin’ DYNAMITE! Have you seen this yet? Are you a fan of classic, grind house Blaxploitation? If you are, you might want to sit that ass down and watch this instant cult classic. This is not simply a spoof with just a bunch of lame sight gags, this is a smart film that plays by the genre rules, and manages to do this with style and humor. And yes it includes many of the staples of this type of film. You want T & A? You got it. You want a bunch of over-the-top dialogue fueled by slang with attitude? You got that too. This is funny stuff and is prime material for a party or just a good time while you’re hangin’ out. DYNAMITE!
Director Scott Sanders brings it all to the table here. But he is also supported by a groovy script courtesy of himself and two of the films stars, Michael Jai White and Byron Minns. Mr. White stars as Black Dynamite, a man looking to clean up the drug filled streets. He also wants to take revenge on those that murdered his brother. Don’t worry, it’s not serious at all. Dynamite is surrounded by bad guys and badder ladies. They take on everything that makes this kind of movie fun. You have a guy from the streets speaking like a classically trained actor. There is one of the most ludicrous chase sequence where eggs and much more get in the way of a man on the run. This is funny simply because it is funny. Not once to the filmmakers insult this type of film, they just have fun with it. And so will you. DYNAMITE!!
If you are looking for a true tribute to this genre, you got it here. The set design, the costumes and the way Black Dynamite is shot is absolutely Seventies. Yet this is a low budget movie. But somehow, a lot of heart and soul has gone into every single frame. They spent time really trying to make this look like the real thing, including some stock footage from older films thrown in for good measure. The violence and all the blood, sex and breasts also make this feel 2 legit 2 quit… sorry, I had to go there. If you are going to do a satirical look at blaxploitation, this is the way you want to do it. It’s fantastic to see a comedy that gives the audience credit that they will probably get the joke. And of course, there are a ton of fun performances including Arsenio Hall, Tommy Davidson and a whole slew of others. DYNAMITE!!!
Now let’s talk about Michael Jai White. How freakin’ cool is this guy? He is the quintessential anti-hero and it helps so much that he takes it deadly serious. He’s got a little bit of Jim Brown in him, and a little bit of Fred Williamson, and probably many more. This guy is the real thing. And the beauty of it all is that they keep all the flaws and the ridiculousness of the film in tact. The continuity is off, the acting is hilarious, but it feels just right when it comes to blaxploitation. It also features the extremely sexy Salli Richardson-Whitfield who is just fantastic as the “love interest”. The two actors are terrific together. This is one of the sharpest bits of satire that I’ve seen. Smart, funny, sexy and ridiculously insane. This one gets better with each and every viewing… I would even say that its DYNAMITE!!!!!
Video / Audio
Video: This is a fine, 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer. Lookin’ good!
Audio: The 5.1 Dolby Digital is worth crankin’ up and playin’ loud. Oh yeah, it sounds great. Makes the music even groovier.
I’m loving the extras here. First off, you’ve got Audio Commentary< /b> from Scott Sanders, Michael Jai White and Byron Minns. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was terrific to hear their thoughts behind the making of the movie. I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Next up we have a series of Deleted & Alternate Scenes (25:06). They include, “Black Dynamite Gives Advice To Kid”, “Black Dynamite Speaks To Pretty Terry”, “Black Dynamite And Cream Corn On Roof - Alternate”, “Rafelli Poolside”, “Congressman James And Rafelli Call”, “Rafelli Magic Trick”, “Black Dynamite And Afroditey - Alternate”, “Kung Fu Banquet”, “Kung Fu Banquet - Alternate”, “Death Of Congressman James”, “Black Dynamite And Militants”, “Additional Island Explosions”, “Bullhorn The Window Washer”, “Cream Corn Climbs Into Trash Can”, “Dr. Wu Natural Enhancement - Alternate”, “Secret Entrance To White House - Alternate” and finally “Nixon Final Conversation -Alternate”. If you want to know why this is funny, all you need to do is watch Black Dynamite give advice to a kid. Many of these scenes are quite funny, but they are unfinished, so many of them you hear “Cut!” and they don’t have the gunshot sound effects. This is definitely worth sitting through.
For behind the scenes, we have Lighting The Fuse (22:40) which is also pretty good. I really appreciated the energy put into this film, and for some reason, I really sensed it here too. I was truly impressed because this type of humor doesn’t always work, but here it does.
And for those of you not that didn’t see them talk Black Dynamite at Comic Con, here is your chance to see the panel. With The Comic-Con Experience (17:54), the filmmakers talk about what they were trying to go for. It looks to me like they succeeded.
And finally, we have Trailers for “Blood and Bone”, “The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day” and “Universal Soldier: Regeneration”, Blu-Ray Disc Is High Definition, “Defendor” and “By The People: The Election Of Barack Obama”. Plus a few previews for “Transylmania”, “H2: Halloween II”, “Moon”, “Soul Power”, “Michael Jackson’s This Is It”, “Breaking Bad” and “Zombieland”.
Black Dynamite is funny as hell. It features a solid script and a smart director creating a very entertaining satire on Blaxploitation grind house cinema. Michael Jai White is terrific as is the rest of this inspired cast. There is so much more that I’d love to talk about, but its best you check this out knowing as little as possible. But know this, you want to have a groovy good time? You will with… Shut your mouth, I’m not talkin’ bout Shaft. I’m talkin’ bout DYNAMITE!