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Black Dynamite – Review

By: By: Shekhar H Hooli
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The movie Black Dynamite has already been screened at film festivals like Sundance and SIFF this summer and it has also won the coveted 2009 Golden Space Needle for Best Film at SIFF. The movie is a true representation of the 1970"s African American Cinema and the blaxploitation era.

Black Dynamite is one of the funniest and it is a modern day action comedy. It is full of the elements that make a good comedy for the entire 90 minutes. The movie has Michael Jai White, Byron Minns and Scott Sanders written clever and original screenplay, hilarious characters, funny story, physical comedy mixed.

Black Dynamite is an affectionate spoof and an instant classic. Director Scott Sanders has executed his script flawlessly, and keeps viewers intrigued along the way. Scott also does a fantastic job using his camera to capture the essence of the 1970's. It will give audiences a taste of what blaxploitation was like 35 years ago.

A skilled martial artist and a former CIA officer (Michael Jai White) sets out to take revenge after his younger brother falls victim to the local drug trade. He goes after the suspects to solve his murder, and eliminate the growing drug problem in the neighborhood. Meanwhile, he meets up with a group of pseudo Black Panthers, and a beautiful Foxy Brown looking woman (Richardson-Whitfield) who happens to work at the local orphanage. Along with avenging his brother"s death, he gets the drugs off the streets and wins the heart of his reluctant leading lady.

Karate champion-turned-actor Michael Jai White seems to have born to play. His costumes, the dialogue delivery and his natural athletic ability make his portrayal of Black Dynamite honest and believable. Salli-Richardson Whitfield is a perfect fit for the female lead. She embodies everything African-American women of that day represented and more. She has done an excellent job.

One minus point of Black Dynamite is that it exhibits silly side of blaxploitation - stiff acting, cheap sets, kung fu, bell bottoms, and the improbable triumph of good over evil. The film also contains nudity, violence, sexual situations and substance abuse.

In a nutshell, Black Dynamite is both a cheeky parody and a loving homage to the blaxploitation films of yesteryear. This movie is worth to anyone who enjoys comedy, action, and great storytelling. Black Dynamite truly is out of sight.

Director: Scott Sanders

Cast: Michael Jai White, Kym Whitley, Tommy Davidson, Byron Minns, Salli-Richardson-Whitfield, Mykelti Williamson, John Salley, and Arsenio Hall

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