Wednesday 17 January 2018

Movies: Black Dynamite ****

(15A, general release)

Paul Whitington

Pastiche spoofs generally bring me out in a cold sweat, but I must say I found it impossible not to love Black Dynamite.

Inspired by the 'blaxploitation' films of the early 70s, Black Dynamite is both a spoof of and a loving tribute to the likes of Shaft, Superfly and Across 110th Street, and apart from being extremely funny, the film has such a donnish and almost academic attention to detail that you can't help falling in love with it.

Made in 20 days for $2m, Scott Sanders and David M Thompson's film makes a virtue of its low budget by perfectly recreating the original creaky, half-assed feel of even the best blaxploitation classics.

Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White) is a Vietnam veteran, former CIA agent and all-around badass who vows to clean up the streets of his generic 70s American city after his brother is killed in an undercover operation.

His adventures will involve the Black Panthers, a kung fu villain, Richard Nixon and just about every other 70s cliché you can think of, all of them lovingly and scratchily rendered.

There are also lots of women, or 'bitches', as Black Dynamite tenderly refers to them, and the 'n' word is more liberally sprinkled here than on your average Public Enemy album.

There's a gracefulness to the way the film introduces intentional mistakes, as actors read their prompts as well as their lines and Black Dynamite pauses mid-sentence to check out a sound boom that has entered the frame. It's very silly and at times gloriously funny, and well worth a look.

Irish Independent

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