Michael Jai White is...Black Dynamite!
Shot on 70's film stock to give it that saturated vintage look, and loaded with great original music, Black Dynamite is a treat. It looks authentically 70's, but it's not for everybody. Some will look at the poorly focused camera work, the shoddy stunts, the bad dialogue, and the rubber baseball bats and turn it off immediately. Others will "get it" and appreciate this for what it is: A skillfully directed spoof movie that actually works!
Michael Jai White came up with the look and concept of the title character, Black Dynamite. Cleverly spoofing 70's blaxploitation and kung-fu films, with built-in defects such as visible boom mikes and actors that are clearly reading their lines off cue cards, this movie comes off so authentic that some people actually think it's a low budget 70's film.
Black Dynamite, a former CIA agent who's seen action in 'Nam, hits the streets to find out who killed his brother. This takes him face to face with a drug dealing gang lead by Rafelli (Mike Starr), and some kung-fu treachery that goes all the way to the top. Black Dynamite is the toughest cat in town, a kung fu expert and smooth with the ladies. Yet he's not all bad -- he's got a soft spot for orphans, and a vendetta against drug dealers.
As the movie progresses, it gets more and more absurd. Starting off as a street vigilante story, it eventually escalates to conspiracy and a deadly encounter on Kung Fu Island. By the time you get to the climax, you will hardly believe it. Tie this in with some pretty awesome fighting moves by White, and some infinitely quotable dialogue, and you have a movie that you will watch over and over again.
Black Dynamite as a movie just works. It is an homage more than a spoof, and obvious love for the genre was poured into the film. At various times it feels like a legitimate 70's blaxploitation film, at others you're laughing your face off. As mentioned, it gets more and more bizarre as it goes along, so hang on tight.
DVD extras are sparse, but valuable if you don't know a lot about this genre. It will give you some insight if you're unfamiliar with those 70's classic B-movies. Clearly, Michael Jai White and co. did this lovingly.
Sound like something you'd be into? Dynamite! 5 stars.