Sunday, September 17, 2017

"Black Dynamite": one-paragraph review

Directed by Scott Sanders and starring Michael Jai White plus a whole cohort of big-name black actors, 2009's "Black Dynamite" is a hilarious parody of 1970s-era blaxploitation films. White plays the eponymous Black Dynamite, a former CIA agent, Vietnam vet, martial-arts expert, and orphan (that last part is significant). The story gets rolling when Dynamite's brother, who was working undercover for the feds, gets killed in a gangland hit. Dynamite goes back into action to unravel the mystery of the murder, leaving a trail of broken and dead bodies along the way. It's obvious that everyone involved in the making of "Black Dynamite" has a sincere love of blaxploitation films; more than half of the movie's humor comes from the parodying of those movies' flaws—a boom mike that enters the scene from above, a six-shooter that shoots nearly twenty bullets without reloading, bad dialogue, tacky clothing and set design, and some of the best/worst over-the-top acting you'll ever see. Michael Jai White, in particular, proves both that he can act and that he has comic chops; his Black Dynamite carries the film on his muscular shoulders. And what a funny film it is: I laughed through pretty much the entire story, and I think you will, too.

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