Black Dynamite Review

Published 6 years ago by , Updated April 8th, 2012 at 10:52 am,

Short Version: While some may view it as spoofing-by-the-numbers, Black Dynamite is still a worthy send-up of the blaxploitation genre.

blackdynamite still2 Black Dynamite Review

Screen Rant guest review of 'Black Dynamite'

Black Dynamite, directed by Scott Sanders, is a glorious mash-up spoof of 1970s grind house and blaxploitation movies.  It stars Michael Jai White, most recently seen as Gambol in The Dark Knight.

The “story” centers on Black Dynamite avenging the death of his bother, who was apparently dealing drugs. Of course the brother wasn’t really dealing dope, but was instead being framed by “The Man.” If you can’t tell yet the plot is classic blaxploitation and the semi-familiar players all admirably fill their rolls, toting names such as “Cream Corn,” “Tasty Freeze” and “Chicago Wind.”  For you fans of The Best D*mn Sports Show Period, John Salley even makes a guest appearance as a hood named “Kotex.”

The first 2/3 of Black Dynamite is ripe with all the sophomoric humor one might associate with any Judd Apatow production, which (to me) is a good thing.  For those of you who remember the movie Airplane! you will appreciate a great joke involving a boom mike. Jokes regarding the low budgets of grindhouse movies are rife throughout this film.  A particularly funny one involves the “tears” that are and then aren’t flowing in an emotional scene between Black Dynamite and Honeybee.  Everything is up for parody in this movie.

What ultimately makes this film so enjoyable is the way it takes the tropes of blaxploitation and grindhouse films from the 1970s, and somehow makes them seem fresh. Even the old caricature of the solitary hero just back from Vietnam is played for laughs, as Black Dynamite consistently refers to the wrong country, every time he suffers another flashback while on the violent search for his brother’s murderer. And it’s a quest which ascends the ladder of culprits all the way to the top.

I don’t think I’m giving away anything by revealing that the “surprise” archvillain is Tricky Dick Nixon himself (who else would it be, really?) and that the ex-Pres is surprisingly handy with a pair of nunchucks. Even the whole “diabolical plot” created by The Man – to shrink the “member” size of African American males – is a hilarious send-up of a stereotype; almost every joke has a reason for being in the film and seems to have been wittily thought out.

black dynamite Black Dynamite Review

Before too long I knew what was going to happen in every scene of this movie (which says more about the number of B-movies I’ve seen and less with the predictability of the movie itself), but unlike repetitive and uninspired drek like Transformers 2 (and despite the fairly bizarre nature of the climax), I still laughed a lot, as did a fair portion of the audience.

If you like blaxploitation, grindhouse B-movies or just a good, funny spoof, you’ll like Black Dynamite.

(Thanks to guest writer Sulai Sivadel for the review.)

Black Dynamite is currently playing in the following locations and theaters:

New York
Regal E-Walk Stadium
Angelika Film Center
Los Angeles
AMC Burbank Town Center
The Bridge
AMC Loews Cherry Hill
Regal Atlantic Station
Regal Hollywood
AMC North Dekalb Mall
AMC Parkway Point
AMC Discover Mills 18
AMC Pacific Place 11
Varsity Theater
Regal Parkway Plaza 12
AMC Loews 600 North Michigan
AMC Loews Pipers Alley
ICE Chatham

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

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  1. As soon as I saw that pistol I started laughing.
    Then those two “babes” added more laughs.
    Thanks for the heads up, I’ll catch it.

    Spot on critique and analysis
    of this type of film, Sulai.

  2. Seems like I’m Gonna Get You Sucker again. Maybe not as good.

  3. “He got fish in his shoes…”

  4. Other than Public Enemies, this is also my most eagerly anticipated film! Michael Jai White should have been a household instead of undeserving “actors”–Formula Fiddy.

  5. I’ve been waiting for this movie and haven’t head anything about it coming to theaters or to TV.

    Thanks for the review.

  6. So you Right my brothas and sistahs!!

  7. Wow Michael jai White just seems to slide further and further off the cool wagon, and it all began with the God awful Spawn movie, saw a bit of redemption as Sth in Universal Soldier the Return, then got T-bagged in Exit Wounds, then his ridiculous mohawk in the tyler perry film, and the LOL squared moment in TDK, but this takes the cake of the wtf moments of Michael Jai White.

  8. SIN187UM seems to be a little off and obviously haven’t watched the trailer (especially the Red Band one).

    This movie is going to be hilarious and every person that I’ve shown it to (30 people up to today) have all literally ROFL crying. Nothing is as bada** as this and all the Sundance reviews state that Michael Jai White carries the film (as it should be).

  9. Definitely going to head to the top of my Netflix queue when it’s released on Blu-Ray!

  10. This is not going to be anything like “I’m Gonna Get You Sucka.” Although that classic was a parody of Blaxploitation films, it was not a slavish period piece, “I’m Gonna Get You Sucka” made fun of Blaxploitation but it’s head was firmly in the late 80s, what with the obsession to gold chains, the fact that Keenan Ivory Wayans character was in the military but had not had any combat experience (which is how it would be for an 80s mililitary person born in the 60s), the hip hop music of the soundtrack (no nostalgic 70s music), the “ghetto olympics” where everybody was stripping cars, the manufactured plastic Los Angeles woman with fake everything, and the older nature of the 70s heros, all of whom were in retirement, said clearly that although the style and the heart of “I’m Gonna Get you Sucka” was 70s, the movie was firmly in the 1980s, rather like a person growing up and deciding what the world needs is the hero’s of his childhood and teenage years. This movie is a whole nother animal, luxuriating in real 1970s vibe and I think that’s been a long time coming.

  11. What’s next? The last Dragon 2, The return of Bruce Leroy? The Shogun of Harlem returns, or maybe a remake of Shaft? Bring on the cheese.

  12. This film is meant to be a cheesy spoof….

  13. This film is meant to be a cheesy spoof….

  14. Missed it but can’t find it. Is it available on DVD?