Monday 24 January 2011


This affectionate pastiche of the films of the Blaxploitation era is now out on DVD. Can you dig it?

Check out the trailer and read my review next, sucka...

When his brother gets gunned down in mysterious circumstances, Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White) hits the streets with his trusty nunchuckka, looking for the men responsible. Along the way he deals with some cracker fools and pleasures some fine bitches. You better stay out of his way, cuz he don't need no excuse to stick it to The Man, you dig?

This homage to the Blaxploitation films of the 1970's (Shaft, Superfly, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, etc) has certainly been a long time coming. Doing the festival circuit since early 2009, it finally hit cinemas over here in August of last year, but if you could find anywhere that was showing it you did better than I did. Finally able to experience it on DVD, I can happily report that this righteous brother was worth the wait.

This funny film has plenty of playful nods towards the sometimes cheaply made films of the 70's era (boom mic in shots, poor acting), and acknowledges the untrained kung fu that was a regular feature. For example, during the pool hall fight one hired goon takes umbrage at getting accidentally slapped in the face, so gets re-cast mid scene. It's these blink and you'll miss it touches that make Black Dynamite a joy to watch.

One thing that's certainly not faked is Michael Jai White's kung fu expertise. A black belt seven times over, he brings an incredible level of skill to the fight scenes that leave the mocking at the door. He's clearly a man of great stature, but I've never seen anyone kick a ceiling light from a standing position before. Seriously, don't mess with him.

Among the kung fu mania is some semblance of a plot, purposely confusing and with no idea of what direction it's heading in. Black Dynamite seeks to avenge his brothers death, declare war on drugs, pay a trip to the White House and stick it to The Man, all in the space of 80 minutes. There's some recognisable cameos to look out for (Phil Morris, Mykelti Williamson, Arsenio Hall), and an abundance of outrageous superfly fashion choices. To top it all off, the funky soundtrack is charmingly nostalgic too, and you'll find yourself walking down the street with 'DY-NO-MITE! DY-NO-MITE!' in your head.

Black Dynamite is great fun, even if you're not too familiar with the era it's lampooning. He's a jive talking, womanising, kung fu fighting bad-ass; a role model for all times, really. I'd imagine this could be Quentin Tarantino's favourite film ever, and I'd enthusiastically welcome a sequel, please.


1 comment:

  1. I loved this film, even though I'm not familiar with the Blaxploitation films but after watching this I don't feel the need to watch any of them, for this one seems to sum up everything they were about in one film.

    This is seriously the funniest film I'd watched for a while, I loved the Anaconda Malt Liquor adverts, so hilarious!

    very good review!