Black Dynamite

The blaxpoitation genre is a fascinating genre to explore. Born out of the need for black people to see their own race on-screen and a love for action films in the seventies, blaxpoitation films were filled with crazy premises, kung fu, jive talk, and sex. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, Jackie Brown, Shaft, and various other gems emerged from this time and have gone on to influence many people currently working in the movie industry today. These were silly films that nonetheless said something about the current state of America at the time. This film is a loving tribute to the genre and at the same time a light jab at the ridiculous plots.

Black Dynamite is basically the most amazing fighter that has ever hit the streets of this town. He boink several girls at once, take down puny little Asian kung fu masters, take on the drug community to clean up the streets and still look damn sexy in his various pleather outfits. He decides to take revenge on the drug community because it robbed him of his younger brother, but the drug community goes beyond just his neighborhood. It goes to the very tippy top. He fights his way through each layer with wild car chases, his unique brand of kung fu, witty sayings and takedowns, and his animal magnaticism.

The plot doesn’t really matter here. All that matters is the Black Dynamite and the actor who played him. He sells the plot, the crazy setting, the outfits and the words with such a conviction it is hard to imagine why this man isn’t a bigger star. He moves through the scenes with an easiness and cockiness that makes the character so much better. My only issue with the acting would be the some of the supporting players. Some of the actors (who are mostly just comedians or adult film stars) seem to be laughing at how funny their lines are just before the camera rolls. They don’t sell the nonsense words they are selling so sometimes it isn’t as funny as it should be. Of course it is only a minor quibble because all that really matters is Black Dynamite, baby.

What I like about this film is how committed it is to making a truly authentic blaxpoitation film. At one point in the film there is a fight where two characters are supposed to be fighting each other and one actor takes it too far and actually slaps the other actor. He freaks out and there is a quick cut to revel a different person in the same role as the man who freaked out just a second before. If you look at Sweet Sweetback, you will see this all of the time. Due to severe budget constraints, the director could only get who was willing to be in a film for free and that means that he would have to replace an actor at a moment’s notice. This is just one example of Black Dynamite getting it right.

This film is hilarious. That is all that really needs to be said about it in the end. Good night!


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