Devil’s DVD Advocacy: Black Dynamite
I happened to be tooling around on the net one day when I unexpectedly came across the trailer for Black Dynamite. I was immediately captivated when I realized that somebody actually was trying to take a stab at recreating a good old 1970’s blaxploitation film. I began drooling as the trailer continued to roll and by the end of it I was slack jawed – before I went into hysterical laughter. In that moment, I made up my mind that I was going to see this movie.
Seeing as the filmmaker was purposely going for a very low quality look for the film, I felt strange entering the theater with such high expectations.
But my main man, Black Dynamite, did not disappoint. To say that Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite) and crew absolutely “nailed it”, while trying to recreate the retro feel of a disco driven 1970’s flick, would be an understatement. They absolutely hit it out of the park.
The grainy look of screen, purposely bad editing goofs, the wardrobe, the lingo (that’s dialogue for those who don’t know), the stereotypes, stock footage shots, and cheap, cheap special effects – if you didn’t leave this movie with a big satisfied smile on your face, you completely missed the point. The intent of this film was not to create a movie that was going to change the way we looked at other movies. It was to take a satirical approach on a genre that for the most part has been left alone when you consider the consistent card board cutout, re-treads that keep pouring out of Hollywood.
And while the feel of the movie is great, the performance of Michael Jai White really sends it over the top. He actually shows an amazing amount of range as his character hits the streets to avenge the death of his brother (a hilarious start to the film), going from the uber-confident, soft spoken, charismatic man doing his part for the community to the raving, kung fu maniac who’s off to settle the score with “The Man”.
In generic terms, the overall plot is thin and predictable, but surprises (some subtle, some not) continue at a steady stream throughout the show. Considering that you could kind of tell overall what was going to happen, it was really enjoyable to keep waiting for the next gag or bit of dialogue you just didn’t see coming.
I could type another thousand words about my favorite parts of the film, but it’s not fair to give anything away. Just do yourself a favor and go see this. Absolute recommended viewing, for this movie has cult classic, stamped with a platform shoe, written all over it.