24 February 2011

OMENS: Black Dynamite

Black Dynamite

Starring Michael Jai White, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Arsenio Hall, Tommy Davidson, Kevin Chapman, Mykelti Williamson, Mike Starr, Kym Whitley, Phil Morris, Nicole Sullivan, Buddy Lewis, Brian McKnight, Nicole Ari Parker
Written by Scott Sanders, Michael Jai White, Byron Minns
Directed by Scott Sanders
Release: 16 October 2009
Icon Entertainment, 84 mins., Rated R

Plot: Black Dynamite's brother is killed, and Black Dynamite ain't gonna let this stand!

Judging by the trailer, MACHETE was poised to be a hilarious, awesome ride back in September 2010. It ended up being boring and lacking more than hitting all the right notes. I also saw a trailer for BLACK DYNAMITE some time before that, and the trailer was spectacular. Similar to MACHETE in some ways, but concentrated on a different genre of old action films, I was interested, but nonetheless hesitant. Would the film be another case of a movie not fulfilling the promise of the exceptionally well done trailer?

A universe of no, it turns out.

BLACK DYNAMITE is perfect. It embraces and spoofs the blaxploitation films of the 1970s (when Pam Grier was everywhere) as well as kung fu films. The action pieces are insane, like A-TEAM proportions crazy. There’s an awesome bar brawl, an island attack, helicopter assault, kung fu ass kicking, and last but not the least, a karate chop delivered by the ghost of Abraham Lincoln.

Part revenge flick, part gangsta, BLACK DYNAMITE breaches many different genres, maintains the same BADASS tone, boasts a highly quotable script, and will instantly become one of your favorite movies, a classic film you’ll want to show your friends and family.

I think it’s safe to say less about BLACK DYNAMITE, because no words can do this brilliance justice. Any movie fan in the world owes it to themselves to watch BD, to experience the BADASS Dynamite in action. But I will say this:

Michael Jai White, I am in awe of you. How you kept a straight face saying some of the most brilliant yet ridiculous dialogue I have ever heard. How you Kung fu’s six dudes in a bar brawl. How you made that hilarious face after jumping out of the helicopter. How you fought Dr. Wu. Okay, the last three bits were Black Dynamite, but simply put, Michael Jai White is motherfrakking Black Dynamite.

From a technical standpoint, I’m quite impressed by the visual style. Sanders achieved the feel of 1970s films, the scratchy, dotty, soft film print with the occasional unsynced dialogue blooper. Frankly, Sanders & Co. accomplished a feat Rodriguez failed to do on two occasions (PLANET TERROR and MACHETE) and Tarantino only slightly tried (DEATH PROOF). BLACK DYNAMITE, for all intents and purposes, looks and feels EXACTLY like a movie from the 70s (minus a bad CG moment near in the end), and that’s about the best compliment anyone can give the movie. It 100% succeeds in being what it’s honoring and spoofing.

BLACK DYNAMITE, I can dig it.

Netflix Rating: Loved It


Jack L said...

I loved this as well.
It takes an exceptional film to perfectly sum up a whole genre of film-making.
also, it was hilarious!
I would definitely watch a sequel if they ever made one, and that's something i don't say often...

Great review!

Andy the Time Lord said...

Jack - Thanks, mate!

I would dig a sequel, but at the same time, I think it would be a tad overkill. They set out to make the film they wanted, said their piece, etc. However, if they set BLACK DYNAMITE 2 against a different backdrop, maybe throwing Dynamite into an entirely different genre/setting, that just might be intriguing.

Fletch said...

Of course you'd love this - it's fucking awesome! I can't wait to watch it again.