Monday, January 4, 2010

Black Dynamite - KUNG FU TREACHERY!

I may not have been old enough in the 70’s to appreciate blaxploitation in all its glory, but I am huge fan of the genre. I’ve seen all the classics and a large number of the not so classics. From Truck Turner to Coffey to Friday Foster to Petey Wheatstraw the devil’s son in law to the movie that started it all, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadaaasssss Song. Black Dynamite is nothing like any of these films, but also just like all of them. The spoof genre is sadly all too alive and well these days with a million and one “*insert genre here* movie”. Black Dynamite does one thing those movies all failed to do. It succeeds in being hilarious. It manages the tone, the pace, the style and the dialog of the classic blaxploitation films, but turns them just far enough onto its ear to make them funny as hell. The one other such spoof “I’m gonna git you sucka” is also hilarious, but fails in nailing the look quite as well as Black Dynamite does.

Black Dynamite opens with a fake malt liqueur add for “Anaconda malt liqueur “it gives you Oooooooooo!!!”(This is important later in the film so try to remember it). Then it immediately lets you in on the main story, in which Black Dynamite’s (an almost unrecognizable Michael jai white) brother Jimmy is murdered in a drug deal and it’s up to BD to find out what happened. The story is secondary to the satire and in this case that’s fine. Black Dynamite has everything you’d want in a blaxploitation spoof; bad dialog, visible boom mics, flubbed lines, pimps, hoes, martial arts, insane character names (bullhorn, cream corn, Chicago wind, and many many more) gangsters, black militants, crooked cops, etc etc. The other thing Black Dynamite has going for it is that it’s the single most quotable movie ever, I thoroughly suspect that if you watch this with a crowd of people you’ll all be saying stuff like “I AM smiling”, “KUNG FU TREACHERY”, “I threw that shit before I even walked through the door”, “I said URINE SAMPLE Jenny”, “but black dynamite, I sell drugs in the community” and “CREAM CORN NOOOOOO!!!!!!”.

Black Dynamite actually manages to succeed in a few areas where the originals failed as well. The dialog, albeit funny as hell, is also dead on accurate to the genre and the storyline is actually better than most of the original movies. I guess if you cram all the clichés of a genre into one movie you sometimes wind up making the best movies in said genre. The other area where it beats out the originals is that Michael jai white is actually an amazing martial artist. The stunts in the film are superb and even manage to pull off several sight gags during them. Now here’s my warning though, I think if you aren’t a fan of the blaxploitation genre you’re more than likely not going to get all the jokes, BUT, I also think the movie is funny enough on it’s own that this shouldn’t be an issue and the climax has to be seen to be believed. Let’s just say the conspiracy goes all the way to the top and the “conspiracy” itself is probably the best joke in the film. So go watch the trailer, if you laugh at all during the trailer you WILL like the film. I LOVED IT. Come for the jokes, stay for the action and while you’re waiting help yourself to one of the best Dolemite clones I’ve seen in a while (bullhorn) and remember “There’s no “i” in revoluti…no “i” in team”

(bullhorn is on the right)

5 nefarious government plots out of 5

Next Up: Julie and Julia - seems fitting after Black Dynamite...right?

P.S. this is seriously the funniest movie I’ve seen in 2009, if I had seen this before I made my best of list this would have been on it.

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