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Bob Doto [Film Festival 04.29.09] movie review action comedy

Year: 2009
Directors: Scott Sanders
Writers: Scott Sanders & Michael Jai White & Byron Minns
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: Bob Doto
Rating: 7.5 out of 10

I wonder what it would take for me to give a spooftastic genre film such as BLACK DYNAMITE more than a seven. It was hilarious, hella low-brow, and smart. If it were just as quality a film but a drama, might I give it an eight or nine? Hmmm…

In any case this film was great. BLACK DYNAMITE is the story of an ex-Vietnam vigilante named Black Dynamite (duh) who’s one part kung fu master, two parts Black Revolutionary, and three parts feral lover. His brother has been recently murdered by a man named “the man” who traffics smack into orphanages and fills the ghetto with Anaconda malt liquor, which packs a mean side effect. Black Dynamite (played with perfect comedic timing by Michael Jai White who also co-wrote the screen play) takes it upon himself with the help of an array of freakish comrades (wig wearing pimps, hustlers, and thugs) to rid his community of all unrighteous elements (save of course the pimps, hustlers, and thugs). He’s a complex man with a complex history.

It’s obvious writer/director Scott Sanders knows and loves the blaxploitation genre, and little of it was left undisturbed. Stunt doubles who look nothing like their counterparts, cars driving off cliffs that look nothing like the car that was about to drive off a cliff, it’s all here. Everything right down to an in-frame boom-mic stand found it’s way into the film. Kung fu. Cops. Black Power. Afros. Even the necessary lead-character-was-in-‘nam trope makes a showing in a way that’s pure gold. When Black Dynamite goes on a five-minute lament into his past as a Vietnam soldier and tells the heart-wrenching story of all the “Chinese” who died, my stomach hurt from laughing so much.

It’s hard to list every hilarious moment in the film and comvey to you how funny it really was. That’s hard enough if I’m speaking to you in person. It’s ten times as hard typing it up for a website. “I guess you had to be there.” Let’s just say there were enumerable mess of funny ass shite, including a scene where Black D tries to clean up and domesticate himself with his new girlfriend. The way he hugs her is ridiculous. Think: ass out.

Above and beyond the comedy, what I loved most about this film was its willingness to embrace an absolutely pockmarked plot with enough giant holes to slip an elephant through. My experience watching BLACK DYNAMITE added up more to anticipating the next botched plot line than to following some sort of abysmal character development. There’s a real freedom in a script that’s allowed to meander wherever the humor needs to roam. Deconstructed stories are often relegated to academic wank-fests, but we see here with BLACK DYNAMITE that once again humor proves to be the ideal medium for navigating the postmodern.

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quietearth (13 years ago) Reply

Hah! I threw that sh*t before I came in the room!

This movie was hilarious!


Bob Doto (13 years ago) Reply

Oh yeah! That line was hilarious! F-ing hilarious!

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