Movie Review: Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White, Tommy Davidson) 2009

Posted: December 3, 2012 in Comedy



Black Dynamite (White) was a CIA agent till he quit workin’ for the man.  Then, his brother Jimmy is killed, and his ex-partner and war buddy O’Leary (Kevin Chapman) gives Dynamite his license to kill again, and Black Dynamite has sworn to kill those who have killed his brother, and clean the streets of heroin.  Dynamite enlists his friends tough talking Bullhorn (Byron Minns) Geri-curl wearing Cream Corn (Davidson) pimp Tasty Freeze (Arsenio Hall)  and black Muslim militant Saheed (Phil Morris)  He’s got enemies too like Chicago Wind (Mikelti Williamson) a small time gangster, Dino (Richard Edson) a big time mobster, and evil kung fu master fiendish Dr. Wu. (Roger Wuan). Along the way, Dynamite meets a righteous sista’ named Gloria. (Salli Richardson)   Gloria rails against corrupt Congressman James (Tucker Smallwod) while simultaneously running an orphanage.  While ridding the streets of heroin, Dynamite stumbles onto Code Kansas, a nefarious plot to keep black men down.  Who’s behind the plot?  How high up does the plot go?

This is a great movie, because it satirizes the blacksplotatiion movies of the early 70’s incredibly accurately.  Jai White is hilarious as the Richard Roundtree type Black Dynamite.  Salli Richardson is very good as the Pam Grier Coffee type role. This movie hits all the blackspoitation topics.  Black Muslims, corrupt politicians, pimps, pushers, gangsters, and lots of kung-fu fighting.  The movie lags a little in the second half, but it gets off to such a funny start, that a little slowdown is natural. Black Dynamite is written by White and Minns, who clearly have an encyclopedic knowledge of movies like Coffee, Superfly, and Shaft.  They also have a deep affinity for this subject matter, the viewer can see the joy in White’s face as he delivers some very funny lines.  The cinematography is also worth noting, the look of the film mimics the look of those gritty, urban low-budget early 70’s classics.  The look of the film actually helps the satire.

Black Dynamite:  Explosively funny.


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