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Rocky Horror, Look Out
tritisan22 November 2009
I had the great good pleasure of experiencing the full force of Black Dynamite at a midnight showing (at the of The Last Great Movie Palaces). I had high expectations going in (based on the YouTube trailer). They were met, exceeded, and blown the F away. I don't remember betting a gut busted so hard in ages.

BD is an absolutely perfect movie. It somehow manages to be a parody and the thing that it is parodying at the same time. You are watching this alternate universe (a fantasy of the 70s, filtered through the lens of Blaxploitation) and the characters are REAL and they believe in the fantasy. But you are also constantly reminded that you are watching a FILM, an intentionally bad one at that. All the things professional filmmakers try to avoid, they do on purpose: Boom mike hitting actor's head, obvious continuity errors, reusing the same shot to save money (exploding car flying off cliff), replacing a stunt actor in mid-sequence... The effect is delightful and hilarious.

Kudos to the crew and actors for really "getting it" and going for it. (I think the only movie I've seen recently where the actors were having so much fun was Tropic Thunder.)

Oh, and the soundtrack; Man, I need to get me some of dat.
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Black Gold!
camillusdsl9 November 2009
It's not often that I enjoy a movie to the point of laughing out loud – but Black Dynamite had me belly-laughing more than once. For those of us who are old enough to remember the joys of 1970's cinema this movie brings back all that was best (and worst) of those slightly grainy, scratched, funk and wow-wow pedal laden classics. The deliberate continuity errors and goofs are hilarious. The dialogue and stock characters could be drawn from any of those wonderful blacksploitation movies that were so exciting for a young lad living in rainy (and then almost 100% white) Ireland. So dig out your wide-collar shirt, pendant and platform boots and enjoy this gem.
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Best spoof since airplane!
leeroy32120 June 2009
This film reduced me to tears of laughter. I've just returned home from seeing it at the Edinburgh film festival and can honestly say this is one of the best movies i've seen this year. I could just list all of the best bits of the movie in this review, but i'd rather you all just went to see it for yourselves.

As a parody/homage of the blaxploitation movies of the 70's, this is perfect. If I didn't know better, i'd think this was actually made in the 70's. Its full of cool little details, the decor, the fashion, the hair styles, the Isaac Hayes/Curtis mayfield style music that details the plot in the lyrics (sometimes scene specific), the grainy picture and the intentionally dodgy camera-work, crash zooms, boom mics in shot etc. During the fight scenes, Michael jai white's kung fu yell is a spot on impersonation of Jim Kelly's (he of Enter the Dragon fame).

Like all the best spoofs, all the actors play it completely straight. White is perfectly cast as Black Dynamite, and if there is any justice in the world, this movie will make him a star. I can almost imagine Samuel L playing this part, but I doubt he could have played it as well as white did. The scene that crystallised his performance for me, was when, during a long speech, a boom mic pops in to shot right next to his face. During the scene, the cameraman is continually trying to adjust the shot to hide the mic. Dynamite continues with his speech as if nothing is going on, but just before he is finished talking, he quickly glances at it, then finishes his speech. The way he plays it is perfect and had everyone in the cinema in fits of laughter.

I said earlier that this is the best spoof since airplane, but I actually think this may be better. In airplane, the jokes were quickfire, but hit and miss, but in black dynamite, every joke hits its mark, and its just as quickfire as airplane. The tone is set pretty quick ( when an undercover agent is caught out cos he cant talk jive properly) and doesn't let up until the credits have rolled. I was still laughing hours after I left the cinema just thinking about it.

Watching this made me wonder how the Austin powers films were such big hits. They were a similar kind of parody but nowhere near as funny, and at the end of the day, aside from a couple of amusing cameos, a one man show (and not a very good one at that). If this doesn't at least do Austin powers numbers, I will be very disappointed, as it deserves the success. Very rarely does a film make me laugh so hard I cry, and this movie did it several times, and its not just me, I think everyone in the cinema had the same experience. Go and see this first chance you get, I cant recommend it enough.
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Look out, you jive suckas! Black Dynamite's Here!
madbandit2000200019 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Taking scenes from current films and goofing them up, parody flicks come off as lazy and, in the long run, forgettable. That's not the case with "Black Dynamite", a slam-bam spoof of the blaxploitation films of the 1970s, that stand on its' own two feet. Holy Mel Brooks and Quentin Tarantino (Both men should watch this film)!

Big, black, sexy,dangerous and sometimes ludicrous is the title hero (Michael Jai White of, "Spawn", The Dark Knight" and an edited scene from "Kill Bill"), an ex-CIA operative who's on the road of revenge when his kid brother's killed for being an undercover snitch (and speaking proper English!).

The crime leads to plots involving drug-addicted orphans (Huh?) and malt liquor that emasculates African-American men (What the?!). Through it all, BD encounters mobsters, dealers, pimps, hustlers, whores, Black Power revolutionaries, corrupt CIA operatives, kung fu assassins and. . . good God. . . a nunchuks-wielding Richard Nixon (Now, why didn't Zack Snyder give his Nixon in "Watchmen" some mad kung fu skills?)!

Unlike previous spoofs of the genre ("I'm Gonna Get You, Sucka!" ,"Undercover Brother" and "Pootie Tang"), "BD" takes place in the 1970s, not only embracing the funky fashions, ambiance and lingo, but also the embarrassing gaffes, miscues and continuity errors that the politically minded, yet Ed Wood-like auteurs blatantly sanctioned in their cine-opuses. A character hits his head against the boom mike. A stuntman's quickly replaced within the reel (!) after getting hit accidentally. Wild, shaking close-ups are aplenty. Exposition is told in song. Supporting players appear out of nowhere! For cine-sticklers, it's a parade of goofs.

A crowd pleaser at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, "BD" is a laugh riot and a half, thanks to the gonzo ace script by White (possibly the next Leslie Nielsen), Byron Minns (who plays a rhyming night club owner, a la the late comic Rudy Ray "Dolemite" Moore, here) and Scott Sanders ("Thick as Thieves" which features White), the film's helmer, who expertly winks at the audience as he stands behind the camera.

Characters actors are dead-on camp: Salli Richardson-Whithead ("Posse", the TV show, "Eureka") is a Black Power revolution dame, who falls for the hero; Mike Starr ("Goodfellas", "Jersey Girl") is a mobster flanked by bikini-clad babes; Phil Morris ("Seinfeld", "The Secret Saturdays") is a revolutionary capo; Mykleti T. Williamson ("Forrest Gump", "Lucky Number Slevin ") is a mean street hustler, comics Arsenio Hall and Cedric Yarborough are tacky clothed pimps; Tommy Davidson ("In Living Color") is a politically incorrect gay man; Roger Yuan (the film's co-stunt choreographer, "Shanghai Noon") as a fiendish kung fu villain and Nicole Sullivan ("Rita Rocks, "The Secret Saturdays") is Tricky Dick's better half, Pat Nixon. Yeah. . .she falls for BD too.

With a $3 million budget, "BD"'s free to be a true parody, needing not to resort to cheap gags. Some might see the flick as unneeded but the animosity towards our current President (Hint! Hint) disproves that. Go see "Black Dynamite". . .unless you're some super, jive-ass sucka!
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"White" Dynamite
kosmasp29 October 2009
Michael Jay White is "Black Dynamite" (if you have seen the movie, imagine the music, when saying that)! You might have seen him in "Spawn" or as one of the evil doers in "Dark Knight". Or if you are into some "B-Action" movies, there are quite a few he made (some of them even quite good).

Unfortunately he hasn't had his big break yet. Unfortunately and kinda surprisingly, at least for me. Even before watching Black Dynamite, I thought of him as a great actor. And when you watch this you will feel the same way. And you don't even have to be a "Blax-ploitation" expert to enjoy the comedy, that is displayed here!

The movie avoids getting big celebrities in major roles (Arsenio Hall being one of the "biggest" names), which actually makes the movie feel like it could have been shot back in the height of the Blax-ploitation movement! And it's rather a celebration of this "sub-genre" (if you want to call it that), than trying to make it ridiculous! A must-see movie! So full of crazy ideas and great (silly) performances, I can only hope there will be more movies like this in the future!
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Best Spoof since the 80's ZAZ glory days!
dale-lover18 October 2009
This is what "Undercover Brother" and "Grindhouse" (minus the 'phony' trailers) wished they could have been but weren't: a tribute to a dismissed period of cinema that feels like it belongs (and comes from) its era.

But this isn't just a collection of random jokes or stabs at blaxploitation genre clichés without rhyme or reason. There is an actual story (convoluted and non-sensical but it's there, and even allows long scenes that advance the plot to unfold without a single obvious joke), there are real characters (over-the-top and cliché' but not two-dimensional walking cardboards) and there are action/fighting scenes (enhanced via the same seamless green screen/CG technology used in "Kung-Pow" a few years back) that make this an actual blaxpoitation movie that just happens to be funny because it's being so true and respectful to the genre it represents. Michael Jai White looks and inhabits his lead role like he stepped out of the 1970's; it's the best casting for a movie since Christopher Reeve got the Superman/Clark Kent role, and I'm not kidding. Supporting actors really get into their blaxpoitation roles (Arsenio Hall and Tommy Davidson are hilarious in too-brief cameos) but they don't overplay their OTT personalities or overstay their welcome. The way "Black Dynamite" gets around its 'R' rating to sneak in a graphic sex scene is not only genius but ties directly with the movie's best scene in which the 'heroes' crack the code in a cafeteria. And the orphanage scene has to be seen to be believed. :-P Only the overblown finale that pushes things way past the breaking point (think "Shoot 'Em Up" and yes, it's that big a misfire) betrays the cinematic illusion that this is a 70's flick that's been rotting in a vault somewhere.

I got my $12.50's worth and will gladly wait for the DVD because I'm sure there's a joke or two I missed. The one's that hit the mark are hilarious though. Don't listen to the DVD Talk reviewer on this one (they're usually right but this time he's way off), "Black Dynamite" is a winnah!
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Listen up turkey! Black Dynamite is the baddest movie to ever hit the big screen!
crazytrain8926 October 2009
All you suckas gather round, there's a brand new movie in town! So get on up and check the scene cause Black Dynamite is the baddest movie to ever hit the big screen! Black Dynamite, directed by Scott Sanders (Thick as Thieves), is a fun and ridiculous throwback to all of the great blaxploitation films of the 1970's. Paying homage to such great films as Shaft, Dolemite, Coffy, and more.

The movie centers around Black Dynamite, an ex-C.I.A. Agent / Vietnam Vet / Kung-Fu Master / Pimp / Everyday Bad Ass, who is pulled back in the game when the mob kills his brother and puts the dope on the streets. So Black Dynamite is forced to take down the mob and clean up the ghetto. On his quest for vengeance we discover that the treachery runs far deeper then we ever could imagine. Black Dynamite must take his fight from the streets all the way to the top, even if that means taking on The Man himself in the white halls of the Honky House.

The film is not only an homage to the stories and themes of blaxploitation films, but also how they where made and the culture behind the genre in a whole. Top-notch crews with million dollar budgets never made these types of movies. Often blaxploitation films, like any other exploitation genre of the 70's, were filled with botched shots, boom mics, and stiff acting. From the beginning all exploitation films existed simply to sell tickets and make money. Usually, for the audience, this meant a poster that was far more exciting then the movie itself. Despite that fact Black Dynamite definitely delivers on what it advertises. The film is able to use all of these unfortunate elements intentionally and create subtle and at times not so subtle laughs. A good example of this is a scene early on in the film where Black Dynamite is giving a long monologue and a boom mic pops in the shot just above his head. As the scene plays out the cameraman even attempts to adjust the shot to try and hide the mic, possibly making it worse. Dynamite continues on with his speech as if nothings wrong, until he's almost finished and he quickly glances at it, then he proceeds to finish as if he's seen noting at all.

The key factor about all of these gags is that all of the actors/characters play it completely straight from beginning to end without skipping a beat. This is a spoof, in the vein of films like Young Frankenstein or Airplane!, that doesn't let the cast in on the joke. The movie plays out as if it's your typical 70's revenge flick. So you end up feeling as if the film was just unearthed after being lost for thirty years or so and you accept it. In the end this is what keeps the movie fresh and the audience wanting more. Most spoof movies that go in the other direction, ending up with a movie filled with a series of gags that feel contrived and completely take you out of the movie (see Disaster Movie or Meet the Spartans). Here you're with Black Dynamite all they way to the end no matter what.

The cast of characters in the film might even be crazier then the films itself. With names like Cream Corn (Tommy Davidson), Chocolate Giddy-Up (Cedric Yarbrough), and Tasty Freeze (Arsenio Hall) you know you're in for a wild ride. All the supporting characters feel authentic and bring much needed humor to a world filled with kung-Fu treachery and smack addicted orphans. Though, when it comes down to it this is a one-man show and Michael Jai White, who is also a co-writer on the film, gives an outstanding performance as our main man Black Dynamite. In order for this movie to work Black Dynamite needed to live up to the hype it created. Like the trailer says, "he's tougher then Shaft, Superfly, and the Mack all put together". White definitely pulls it off; creating a character that you love and believe without a doubt could take King Kong in a fistfight and not even break a sweat. White really shines in this movie and I hope it leads to more leading roles for him.

One last thing that can't be overlooked about this film is the soundtrack by Adrian Younge, who came out of nowhere and created a very convincing 1970's soundtrack. The best thing about the soundtrack is that it feels vintage fitting right in with similar soundtracks from the 70's, but at the same time remains fresh and doesn't seem to rip-off anything specific. He hits all the right notes and keeps true to that retro 70's beat. The majority of films today wish they had a soundtrack half as good as Black Dynamite.

If you enjoy the exploitation films of the 70's or movies like Army of Darkness and Grindhouse you're going to love this movie. Though if you're a film-goer who can't stand movies with a ridiculous premise you'll want to avoid this one, but for those that do your going to have a blast. Unfortunately Black Dynamite has only opened in a few cities so far keep an eye out for it, hopefully it will get a wider release in the weeks to come. This is definitely one of those movies that benefits from viewing it with an audience so if it's in your town be sure to run out and see it. Can you dig it?

Recommended Flicks: Shaft (1971) | Dolemite (1975) | Truck Turner (1974) | Coffy (1973) | Hammer (1972) | Magnum Force (1973) | The Last Dragon (1985) | I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988) | Enter the Dragon (1973)
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Very funny
oatsuzn20 October 2009
I saw this last night and it's the first movie in a long while that hasn't left me feeling ripped off. Thoroughly entertaining and is funniest movie I've seen all year. The movie does what other spoof films haven't done. It's well crafted and thought out and shows a great attention to detail. The camera work is great, music is well chosen, the backgrounds and venues are authentic, the jokes and dialog are funny, Michael Jai White and the supporting cast are great. I saw a trailer earlier this summer but had forgotten about the movie until I read a magazine interview with White discussing the movie. It's a shame there isn't more publicity behind this movie. This film will surely be a cult classic in the same line as Pulp Fiction.
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One of the better comedies of this year.
thetheatreintheround17 October 2009
Here's a film that would have fit perfectly with the 2007 release of Grindhouse. I wish that Black Dynamite had been worked on enough so that a trailer would have been featured along with the faux trailers in Grindhouse. (Although one of those faux trailers, Machete, is being made into a full-length feature.) Michael Jai White (who is probably best known by many as Spawn or as the ill-fated gangster, Gambol, from The Dark Knight) is excellent as Black Dynamite. White is not only an excellent action star, but he's also got great comedic timing. His deadpan delivery mixed in with very impressive martial arts abilities are worth the price of admission for this flick. White channels Richard Roundtree, Robert Hooks, Fred Williamson, and yet he makes the role his own. How White hasn't become a prominent action star, much like Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li, Tony Jaa, and so on is a complete mystery to me. I hope that this is a breakout role for him.

One of my favorite characters in this film is Bullhorn (played by Byron Minns). He's the film's answer to Rudy Ray Moore, rhymes and all. For those who have seen Dolemite, you'll know what I'm talking about. (He also narrated the hilarious trailers for the movie.) The film features a cast full of what's his faces. Richard Edson (Stranger than Paradise and Do the Right Thing) has a brief role in the film. Mykelti Williamson (Bubba from Forrest Gump) plays one of the villains, Chicago Wind. Mike Starr (Goodfellas and Dumb & Dumber) plays the mob leader. Arsenio Hall, of all people, plays a coked out hustler named Tasty Freeze. Tommy Davidson, with a head of curly hair, appears as one of Black Dyamite's sidekicks, Cream Corn.

This film is a throwback to the 70's, with the classics of Blaxploitation. It not only has a lot of laughs, but I also felt that the movie essentially became a Blaxploitation within a half-hour into the movie.

If you're a fan of Blaxploitation films, this will not disappoint. If you're in for a good comedy, check this one out. It will provide more laughs than a good majority of the comedies released this year.
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this year's Hot Fuzz!
Quinoa198430 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Black Dynamite - this is a movie that keeps you laughing for quite a few minutes after it ends (my wife ended up going into a laughing fit just on remembeing some scenes) and it means business. It's a spoof that shouldn't work, but does; it takes off on what was already a parody of itself, a black-exploitation flick, Dolamite, that starred the inimitable (late) Rudy Ray Moore who couldn't act much but had such a bad-ass aura that it got him through the movie kicking ass and taking names and putting forward expletive platitudes. It was also a bad-movie, but fun bad, sometimes hilarious bad, and it was something I was wondering how it could work in Black Dynamite as a full-fledged comedy take-off on the material. It turns out it works smashingly.

Plot - who needs a mofo plot? It's all about Black Dynamite (singing: "Black Dynamite"!) and how he fights against the man, against drug pushers, against nefarious Vietnamese/Chinese (yeah, Chinamen in Vietnam) pushing Anaconda malt liquor, hell, he even fights Richard Nixon if he has to! He's Black Dynamite, a brother who doesn't f*** around when it comes to the ladies (give him a nurse with big breasts and he'll be a making' guy) or to his enemies as he kung-fu fights or does amazing stunts with his helicopter all the time. There perhaps is an actual "plot" in watching Black Dynamite, but as with Mel Brooks, or even Hot Fuzz to a certain extent, you don't need it. What's up on the screen is quite enough without having to get too much into story... well, then again, the Orphanage counts as story, I guess.

This isn't to say Black Dynamite is a perfect comedy, and it won't end up on my top ten list at year's end. But for every one or two gags or liners that don't work ten others work better than any comedy I've seen this year. Did I mention that orphanage gag already? Or Tommy Davidson as Creamed Corn? Or the dastardly plot involving the Anaconda Malt Liquor and how Black Dynamite and his crack team of Greek scholars opens the case wide open? Or how about that one scene where he... you know, it's hard, really, not to spoil too much. There's not one scene in this film that isn't at least funny or amusing, and there are many where it is gut-bustingly hilarious.

Some of this is just simply credited to Michael Jai White, an actor who I never thought would be one to be adept at comedy (he also was co-writer), who channels the spirit of Rudy Ray Moore to a tee while creating his own iconic 'mofo' whose reputation precedes him everywhere he goes- including when he just goes to a park and a two kids come up to him: "Black Dynamite, you're my Daddy" "Yeah, me too, that's what Mommy said." "Oh no, there's someone else named that..." He is a big comedic stroke of genius here, but everyone around him gets the tone down so well. This is grind-house meets comedy house, and for all of the in-jokes for fans of Dolamite and other flicks like the Dr. Wu series (those scenes alone are worth the price of admission), for the "boom-mic" gag or a random mention of Captain Kangaroo as one of a group of pimps, it still works for any audience looking for solid comedy.

Matter of fact, this is best to be experience with some buddies at a midnight screening jam-packed with people ready to get in on some Black Dynamite action. On everything it attempts to do it succeeds, and it aims to be a completely over-the-top and wonderfully tasteless salute to 1970s low-budget black cinema. It's done out of love though, I think, even for movies that have not aged well, at all. But it's a kind of comedy beacon of light at the end of a tunnel loaded with Hollywood crap or the occasional Judd Apatow chuckle. It's BLACK DYNAMITE!
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A breakthrough performance by Micheal Jai White!
eibeh00718 December 2010
Movies like Black Dynamite give you an intense yearning for blaxploitation films. Its one of those sadly rare---if not moribund---genres that deserve to be resurrected. I'm quite sure you'll agree when you see it. It first premiered at the 2009 Sundance film festival, where Sony worldwide acquisitions picked it up for distribution. Its a shame Hollywood doesn't produce them as frequently as they did in the early to mid-70s. I don't think I've seen another one since Undercover Brother(2002), which I quite liked. Blaxploitation---even though contemporary ones are few and far between---is one of my favorite movie genres. Those types of films are witty, hilariously silly, tongue-in-cheek and immensely entertaining, and Black Dynamite is no exception.

I felt a deep sense of nostalgia watching it because it reminded me of classic films of the genre, especially the highly influential Foxy Brown(1972). Incidentally, just like in Black Dynamite, the antagonist in Foxy Brown is also known as "The Man". I tremendously enjoyed other blaxploitation films such as Jackie Brown(1997), Shaft(1971), Superfly(1972), Coffey(1973), I'm Gonna Git You Sucka(1988), etc, so I eagerly anticipated Black Dynamite when I saw the trailer early last year, and boy did it deliver!. Kudos to Scott Sanders for his inspired direction, Adrian Younge for his original score and editing, and Shawn Maurer(cinematographer) for capturing the 1970's zeitgeist so vividly. I can say with absolute certainty that its arguably the best blaxploitation film since Shaft. Its infinitely better than Undercover Brother. And did I mention its relentlessly hilarious? It rivals The Hangover as one of the funniest films of 2009.

Micheal Jai White---who shares writing credits Byron Minns and Scott Sanders---really should be a bigger star. With a strong screen presence and undeniable charisma, he's proved he's quite capable of carrying a movie. I wish Hollywood producers would cast this guy more often. Despite being basically a Micheal Jai White show, gorgeous leading lady Salli Richardson-Whitfied makes her presence felt as Gloria, Black Dynamite's partner. Also starring in the film, in smaller roles include Kym Whitley, Arsenio Hall, Nicole Ari Parker, R&B singer Brian Mcknight, Tommy Davison, Mykelti Williamson, to name a few. Jason James and Rick Montgomery did a great job casting them. Even if you're not a fan of blaxploitation films, there's no doubt you'll have a great time watching this terrific film. I've never seen a film this funny in such a long time. Don't miss it! You dig?
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A wonderfully wicked parody of the blaxploitation films
gregking427 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A wonderfully wicked parody of the blaxploitation films that were an action staple of '70's B-grade cinema. The brainchild of co-writer and star Michael Jai White, Black Dynamite features a tough, no-nonsense action hero who sets out to wreak his own brand of justice in the hood and avenge the murder of his younger brother. Along the way he exposes some corrupt cops, rids the neighbourhood of drug dealers, and traces a hideous conspiracy all the way to the "honky home" – er, white house – of President Nixon. White's performance captures the essence of action hero Jim Kelly, best known for his role in Enter The Dragon. Black Dynamite comes replete with all of the clichés of the genre, including the tough dialogue, the mindless and over the top action, martial arts, the sex, the car chases, and the wonderfully cool costumes, but it plays them for laughs. Deliberately shot in retro style by director Scott Sanders, Black Dynamite brilliantly catches the B-grade aesthetic of the genre. Even the occasional shot of the boom microphone and the shonky sets are part of the overall concept. A lot of fun!
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Hilarious from start to finish
ruthnoakes6 September 2010
Black Dynamite (2009), directed by Scott Sanders, stars Michael Jai White as 1970′s action star Black Dynamite. When his brother is killed by drug dealers, he instigates a campaign of action and violence, opening a can of kick-ass on all of the local dealers to uncover whom was responsible.

Oozing with 70′s style, this homage to blaxploitation movies will have all of you jive turkeys booming with laugher, and wishing, just wishing, that you had your own soundtrack like he does. "Dynamite! Dynamite!" every time he enters a shot to do something awesome.

With the boom mic deliberately left in shots for comedic effect, and the hugely exaggerated facial expressions of the cast, you can't help but laugh with them, and imagine how much fun the film must have been to make. For anyone still making Chuck Norris jokes, forget it, Black Dynamite knocks them out of the water.

Salli Richardson-Whitfield is wonderful as Gloria, Black Dynamite's love interest. She has always been very good in anything I've seen her in. One of my favourite lines was where she disdainfully highlights how men think they can win a woman over with a wink and a smile, so Black Dynamite winks. She sardonically inquires where the accompanying smile is, and he says "I am smiling", whilst his face is as serious as a funeral attendee.

Definitely worth watching, and made even better if it's with a couple of beverages and friends on a Friday night.
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A must-see for lovers of blacksploitation...
MartinHafer10 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I strongly suspect someone who's never seen a blacksploitation (or 'blaxploittion') film would not appreciate this movie--at least not as much as lovers of the genre. As for me, I've seen dozens of films and so many of the plot elements and clichés from these films are in "Black Dynamite" it made for a wonderful homage.

What makes this film so watchable is its great combination of action, excellent martial arts action, self-parody and deliberate mistakes that were done to imitate the shoddy production values of some of the blacksploitation films. I loved how in one scene, you can see a boom microphone and how the leading man keeps looking up at it. I also loved how a red Porsche went off the road and over the cliff--and suddenly it became a light colored sedan! But what REALLY made this film fun was the final 1/3--where it got REAAAALLY crazy. Kung Fu Island and a trip to the White House?!? Wow, that made me laugh. I won't say more because it would spoil the suspense, but it was simply amazing to watch.

Now you might think that this film was just like "I'm Gonna Git Ya Sucka", though it is not just another version of the same type of film. While I loved them both, "I'm Gonna Git Ya" was a much more obvious and silly parody. "Black Dynamite" was different because the action was actually really, really good and the film was played so very seriously. In fact, up until the film gets really silly, you could easily believe that was made back in the 1970s. This aspect of the film was wonderful!

One word of caution, though. Like many of the original films, this is a very adult film. There's a lot of violence and nudity and Black Dynamite is a one man sex this is not a film to show your mother or kids! Clever, well-made and funny--this is a must-see film.

The film has everything going for a parody of the genre needs--great acting, writing, direction and action. To show you how much I loved this film, I would really love to see a sequel--and I usually HATE sequels!!

By the way, much of the inspiration for this film must have been "Three the Hard Way". This is a really cool 70s film--one that is also well worth seeing.
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Consistently hilarious, inventive spoof
StrayButlerReturns8 January 2010
The idiots responsible for Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans and Disaster Movie should be abducted and forced to watch Black Dynamite so they can see how a good spoof movie is done! While recent spoofs have focused on mimicking familiar film scenes or ripping off celebrities with the idiocy of a 10-year-old boy, Black Dynamite is a nostalgic throwback that simultaneously recreates and celebrates the trademarks of the 1970s blaxploitation genre - the jive pimps in garish outfits, the evil politicians, a funky R&B soundtrack, and dialogue laced with expletives, peculiar slang and ethnic slurs. A gleefully harebrained spoof of all things Shaft and Superfly that plays straight-up stupid with vintage film-making aesthetics, this is one of the most consistently hilarious and creative spoofs since the days of Airplane! and its brethren.

Michael Jai White plays the titular character of Black Dynamite; a muscular badass with a lot of guns, an expertise in kung fu and a knack for getting women into bed (or anywhere else that suits him). An evil presence in the city has committed the ultimate crime: they've killed Black Dynamite's kid brother. Dynamite goes on a rampage, tearing up the streets to find the perpetrators. During his quest to serve up payback he also tries to keep kids safe from drugs and protect his bitches from harm. This all leads to the discovery of a terrifying conspiracy against black men.

In tradition with '70s-era blaxploitation films, the protagonist is a noble ass-kicker who spouts odd slang, is very popular with the females and can make villains quake at the very sight of him, whereas the proceedings are coated with a colourful sheen of tacky clothes, crazy cars and hilariously over-the-top fight sequences. Black Dynamite is certainly knowing in its spoofing, but it rarely winks at the audience to signal any sort of self-aware comfort. The film has a fantastic poker face; committing to an enjoyably silly routine of mockery and homage without being too conscious. On top of the high batting average for laughs, the action set-pieces are pretty awesome as well. And, much like all the greatest spoofs in history, one doesn't need a thorough knowledge of the genre being sent up in order to understand the jokes. This is a major asset for Black Dynamite, because, let's be honest, how many '70s blaxploitation flicks has the average person actually seen? In a sense, Black Dynamite is to blaxploitation what the Austin Powers films are to '60s spy flicks. Not many young comedy fans would be familiar with anything like In Like Flint, but that didn't prevent Austin Powers from becoming an extremely popular franchise.

Black Dynamite looks spot-on; as if it were an honest-to-goodness blaxploitation picture that has been sitting in a vault for over thirty years. '70s blaxploitation pictures were low-budget affairs often made without a great deal of technical skill, and Black Dynamite recreates this film-making incompetency with astonishing, hilarious accuracy. Director Sanders replicates everything from the colour scheme to the cheesy zoom-ins; from the one-dimensional performances to the obvious editing mistakes. Rather than taking the Grindhouse route of aging the picture in post-production, cinematographer Shawn Maurer filmed on Super-16 colour reversal stock, which generates a high-contrast, richly saturated image that's well-augmented by the excellent imitations of '70s-style clunky camera-work and awkward framing. The sets are an absolute hoot (particularly the wonderfully chintzy White House interiors used during the climax), and the mood is further sold by Adrian Younge's utterly perfect, playful score loaded with funny trills as well as "Dynamite!" vocal hits whenever the titular character enters the room or kicks some ass.

Michael Jai White is pitch-perfect as Black Dynamite; coming across as a credible hero so tough, well-meaning and proud in his embrace of black masculinity that one could easily imagine him being perceived as a point of pride back in the '70s. White manoeuvres through the ridiculous action sequences splendidly, using his extreme physicality to punch villains through walls and brandish phallic weapons convincingly. Similar to the wonderfully obtuse Leslie Nielson (who was a crucial component for the success of the Naked Gun! series), White carries the entire movie and wins you over easily through sheer force of straight-faced absurdity. And that's the key to a great spoof: the characters can never be in on the joke. Black Dynamite nails this perspective with a satisfying consistency, which is particularly laudable when the actor has to deal with the crew's low-budget incompetence (such as a hysterical boom mic joke).

The art of cinematic spoofing has become so degraded by the likes of Date Movie and Epic Movie that it may take several minutes to recognise Black Dynamite as part of this once-brilliant genre. Some may perceive this movie as a simplistic one-joke affair (because it kind of is), and the film does have trouble sustaining its raucous energy, but the solid laughs and inventiveness manage to compensate for the minor blunders.
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Side-Splitting Satire
drqshadow-reviews23 August 2011
A wickedly funny parody of the Blaxploitation action genre of the 1970s. Shot on era-appropriate stock with matching wardrobe, hairstyles (oh, the hair in this movie), transportation and window dressings, if I didn't know any better I'd have sworn it was an authentic gem from the heyday of "Sweet Sweetback" and "Superfly TNT." Despite paying homage to an era that wasn't exactly known for its realistic portrayal of the world, Black Dynamite somehow manages to be even campier than its forefathers, to great effect. It's amazingly successful at taking every aspect of the genre to task, from acting to editing to photography to the train wreck of clichés that defined the decade, yet the story still manages to effectively one-up itself dozens of times before it's fully played out. Genuine buried treasure.
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Blaxploitation Genius
DanLives198022 April 2011
It's very rare that you see a comedy so faithful to its source of inspiration that it could gain as much respect as it has laughs and that explains Black Dynamite from beginning to end.

One of the first adult comedies I ever saw was the early Wayans comedy 'I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!', which starred an ensemble cast of young comedians and Blaxploitation stars such as Isaac Hayes, Bernie Casey and Jim Brown. About an ex soldier fighting to win back his neighbourhood from a powerful drug-lord, the film set about stereotyping and spoofing old classics such as Shaft.

This film works on much the same level but is 100% faithful to the classic genre and so perfectly produced, I'd say it's the best Grindhouse Cinema comeback film made, even over the Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez films that restarted the genre.

Starring Michael Jai White, who should have been an unrivalled star long before now - Spawn, Universal Soldier 2, The Dark Knight, Blood and Bone - this 70's exploitation comedy mixes racist Afro-American culture stereotypes with outrageous humour, White's outstanding martial arts abilities with absurdly comic gunfights and perfects it with a seamless orchestral soul and funk soundtrack and grindhouse cinema look.

Throw in a thousand sexual innuendos, jive-talking one liners, well-placed unedited bloopers and inconsistencies and references to stereotypical black American culture and what you have is a seemingly genuine blaxpoitation film that will have you in hysterics.

Black Dynamite is an ex-soldier ex-CIA agent who discovers his brother has been murdered and is coerced into working with the CIA again to get to the bottom of the crime. But pulling together his old street brothers, all the while trying to romance a charity worker/political protester, he discovers that the CIA and the government are in fact working under the cover of darkness to keep the black man down.

The scene goes from street level, to the hills and the shores of LA, to a secret location known as Kung Fu Island and finally to the White House in the funniest comedy I've seen my entire life.

Michael Jai White is perfect in the lead role, counting on his maturity, physical prowess and comic ability and timing. He has proved a brilliant comedian and practically carries the film alone, although he leads a familiar cast of acting veterans but the collective writers (White also being one of them) deserve much recognition.

Pat Proft ought to stop releasing so many desperately unfunny spoof sequels, watch this film and remember why Hot Shots was so similarly successful. Because you can only hit the nail on the head so many times before you end up breaking what you make!
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Best Comedy of 2009
drunkenhopfrog9 November 2009
Courtsey of @popbunker

Michael Jai White is Black Dynamite, a celebrated community bad dude, and his life as a street enforcer and ladies man is interrupted by the murder of his brother. It appears his brother was killed in a drug deal gone bad and Black Dynamite has a three part responsibility: One is to avenge his brother's death, the second is to find out who got his brother back into drugs because Black Dynamite promised his mother on her death bed that he would not let that very thing happen, and third is to find out what role The Man plays in the drugs on the street and lining politician's pockets.

Black Dynamite takes this one personal.

And so begins "Black Dynamite." I absolutely cannot describe much of the plot in this movie because much of the humor comes from the giant leaps and absurdity of the plot. I'll tell you this much: At some point in the movie Black Dynamite and his crew has to infiltrate kung-fu island. Come on, "Kung-fu Island?" Additionally the plot doesn't make sense if one thinks about it too long. It's OK, it's not supposed to and that's part of the charm, but it is good not to watch the movie while charting plot holes. The film also has a scene where it takes a nice stab at itself and movies of the genre for the wild jumps in plotting. It's a brilliantly funny part of the movie.

Michael Jai White pulls off his best performance to date in "Black Dynamite." I reviewed White's good but not great Bone and Blood and mused what White could do with a more sensational role. Here is that role. The script is co-written by White and the entire movie feels like a labor of love by the folks involved. White is a sensational martial artist and displays everything from high impact karate to the more movie-traditional wushu. Whatever he's doing there is no mistake Black Dynamite is bad to the bone. The gags come hard and fast with great timing and pop and cultural references out of left field.

The movie should instantly become a quotable hit with some of the most memorably funny lines laid to film in a long time.

The last quarter of the movie comes from out of nowhere and is about as incongruous as a plot turns in a movie can be. The scenes of the finale become so increasingly bizarre and absolutely funny that the viewer can hardly pay attention to what's happening. I was slumped in my seat with tears rolling down my cheeks and my stomach hurting more with each additional discovery by Black Dynamite. The absurdity becomes out-of-bounds but it works well because the majority of the movie walked the line of satire and never wore out its welcome as an absurd farce. When the final scenes hit, laughs just keep coming and coming and coming.

The movie is the perfect comedic interpretation of the blaxploitation movies of the 70s as well as action films of the grindhouse style altogether. There are neat subtle little jabs made here and there that make social points, but nothing heavy-handed. The end result is simply a fantastically funny and entertaining movie that is as fun to watch as anything I've ever seen. "Black Dynamite" instantly climbs my list of 2009 films to sit right besides Duncan Jones' "Moon" as my favorite film of the year.

Courtsey of @popbunker
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Dyno-Mite and Outtasite! One of the best movies of 2009
shawnjames_20007 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Black Dynamite is one of the best films of 2009. A hilarious send up of the blaxploitation films' of the 1970's, it surpasses the quality of its 1980s contemporary I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and is on par with the Naked Gun and Airplane! parodies from that decade. You'll be talking about this movie for days and reciting the one-liners verbatim. This is one of the most fun movies I've had the pleasure to watch in a long time. Michael Jai White is Black Dynamite, a former government agent now neighborhood enforcer out for revenge when finds out his brother has been killed by The Man. That's the premise of this movie and that's all you really need to know. On his quest for revenge as he cleans up the streets there are tons of jokes based on the gaffes you'll be talking about for weeks on end. It's a conspiracy that leads all the way up to the White House and the President in a Kung-Fu climax that has to be seen to believed. Black Dynamite was one of the best movies of 2009. Forget that Avatar nonsense, THIS movie should have been nominated for some Oscars! Everything from the set design to the music is the highest quality. For a film costing about $3 million dollars the set design, costumes and cinematography and production values had the feel of a big-budget period film, and the quality was on the screen in every frame. My only complaint about this fantiastic film is there wasn't enough Salli Richardson in it! In their portrayal of the bad acting of those 1970s flicks, the entire cast gives a great performance with several standouts. Michael Jai White is awesome as Black Dynamite. This is gonna be his signature role; he takes his craft to the next level in this one. Tommy Davidson is hilarious as Cream Corn. Byron Minns steals scenes as Bullhorn. Minns feels like he was channeling the spirit of the late Rudy Ray Moore, in some frames it was like Dolemite was speaking through him! His rhymes and his one-liners are unforgettable. Kym Whitley is hilarious as Honey Bee; she channels the late Lady Reed in her portrayal of the character. Nicole Ari Parker disappears into her character and Salli Richardson is a delight to watch as Gloria. Director Scott Sanders crafts a beautiful film that looks like it could have come from the 1970's. Cinematically, there's no distinction between this 2009 film and the classic blaxploitation movies that came from the late Samuel Z Arkoff's American Interantional pictures in the 1970's. Everything here is so period accurate it's not funny! White, Sanders and Minns must have sat down and meticulously studied every blaxploitation film from the 1970's frame-by-frame. I've watched dozens of Blaxploitation films from Dolemite to Foxy Brown to Black Samurai, and all the gags the in-jokes made about the genre and this film are right on the money. Black Dynamite is a Shawn James Five Star Essential Video. I highly recommend you pick this one up NOW!
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Hilarious -- A Joy to Watch
fumples27 May 2010
Black Dynamite is one of those movies that when you watch it, it feels like it would have been stylish back then, but today it just ends up looking corny. And that was the director's intent.

When you watch it, don't expect anything but a damn good time. Watching it with a buddy of mine, at almost every scene of intentional continuity we had to pause it and watch it a second or third time.. I almost cried I was laughing so hard at some of those scenes in the movie.

The thing with the humor is that it's brought across in such a subtle but obvious way that it just ends up being hilarious. The jokes / sight gags are just a riot, and are delivered perfectly. Take, for example when Black Dynamite runs into a building and says "Who's the boss here?" and another man says "Sarcastically I'm the boss here!" My buddy didn't catch it the first time but we were like ... Wait.. should he have said Sarcastically or was he reading the script wrong? LOL!

Basically, there isn't much to it, it really is a hilarious homage to 70's blaxploitation movies, but it is done so painfully well that it is just an absolute joy to watch.
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A tad uneven after a hilarious opening 15 minutes, but there's still a heck of a lot to love
zetes21 February 2010
Loving parody of '70s blaxploitation flicks starring tough guy Michael Jai White as a Shaft-like superstud, Vietnam vet, ex-CIA crimefighter named Black Dynamite. After his brother, supposedly a drug dealer, was gunned down, he tries to learn the truth and get drugs off his streets. The film perfectly captures the look of the classic films of the genre, as well as the awful acting style (the filmmakers were probably looking more at Dolemite than Shaft). The film can be very funny. In fact, I don't think I laughed harder at any film made in 2009 than I did in the first 15 minutes of this film. Alas, Black Dynamite isn't able to keep up its initial level of energy, and as the film continues, a lot of the jokes flop dead. And I mean A LOT. There were ten minute periods without laughs. And that's just sad, considering how funny it can be. Thankfully, every once in a while something great pops up, and the film has the most inspired final act I can remember (watching the deleted scenes, it becomes apparent that they ran into some huge problems in their original cut and had to jettison enormous chunks of the plot that just weren't funny at all). Despite some massive weaknesses, this is a film that every cult lover, or at least blaxploitation lover, needs to see. You surely won't regret it.
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i threw that s**t before i walked in the door.....
FlashCallahan9 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is the story of 1970s African-American action legend Black Dynamite.

The Man killed his brother, pumped heroin into local orphanages, and flooded the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor.

Black Dynamite was the one hero willing to fight The Man all the way from the blood-soaked city streets to the hallowed halls of the Honky House....

antone who is familiar with blaxploitation movies, and spoofs of the genre by Keenan Ivory-Wayans will find this movie a hoot. From the start, this film makes out that it is serious, but is so well badly acted, you cannot help but laugh at the genius of it.

White is at a career best playing the titular character, who is basically a living homage to Jim Kelly.

For a spoof, the story is fantastic as well as silly, but fantastic never the less. Character support is spot on, and there are so many references to other films, most notably, Shaft, Friday Foster, and enter the dragon.

Where most films in this genre run out of steam toward the end, the film notches up a gear from tongue in cheek to just plain ridiculous, and its all the better for it.

Any film that ends with a nunchuk fight with Richard Nixon has franchise written all over it.

A blast from start to finish.
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A loving parody of blaxtaploitation movies, but not the pinnacle of spoof comedy
Superunknovvn9 January 2010
Motion pictures like "Scary/Date/Fantastic Movie" and even David Zucker's very own "An American Carol" brought the spoof genre to shame. It gradually got dumber and dumber, until they virtually became an insult to anybody with an IQ over 30. The trailer to "Black Dynamite" got my hopes back up. This looked clever, fresh and it seemed as if it might actually be really funny.

Well, although "Black Dynamite" is head and shoulders above the aforementioned movies, it's still no cigar to classics like "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun". The movie's got a lot going for itself: Michael Jai White is the find of the year as title character Black Dynamite, the director and the writers pay a lot of attention to details (the hilarious score, the bad editing and picture quality). But the joke is getting old pretty quickly. After 30 minutes or so the movie feels like a "Kentucky Fried Movie"-skit that overstays its welcome.

Having said that, "Black Dynamite" is still highly watchable. What makes it so lovable is that it's something of an insider tip. It was made for no budget, without a mainstream audience in mind and with a lot of love for the genre it satirizes. First and foremost, however, "Black Dynamite" proofs that spoof movies are not only for the braindead, but can actually be witty, observant and a hell of a lot of fun.
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Affectionate and enjoyable blaxploitation comedy despite not being as funny as I hoped
bob the moo29 April 2012
It has taken me years to get around to seeing this film and I think that is due to how good it is at spoofing but capturing the look and feel of a clichéd 1970's blaxploitation film. You see, once many years ago I watched the Pam Grier film Coffy with my girlfriend who, after yet another scene of excessive nudity and/or violence, declared it the most ridiculous film she had ever had to watch. Likewise the few minutes of Black belt Jones that she saw as she walked through the room had her eye-rolling with the memory of the genre. So, the one time I did try and watch Black Dynamite, we didn't really get far into it before she rejected my claim that it was a modern spoof of the genre and said she didn't want to watch any more of this type of thing. Fair enough.

It is probably for the best because this film will play well with those that know the genre and all its trashy failings and weaknesses, those that hate blaxploitation will probably not enjoy seeing it replicated here. This is what the majority of the film does and, although it does so with a knowing wink and some very funny digs at the standards of the genre, it is first and foremost a 1970's blaxploitation made in this century. The plot is therefore a tough black man with a big heart and even bigger, ahem, who sets out to get revenge for the death of his brother but then gets motivated to help his community, ultimately leading him to taking out The Man at the highest corrupt level. Again, those who know the genre will know this and this is what the film does, but it does it with good awareness and excess. The shoddy filming is designed as such, lines flubbed, sexual material flaunted and supporting actors either over the top (African-American) or stiff and greasy (white). However it all works to capture the genre and recreate it with more self-awareness. The cast do well to do their part within the recreation. White is particularly good – handsome and gruff to order, but yet his timing is very good. The supporting cast also do their bits with turns from Hall, McKnight, Woodbine, Starr, Williamson and others – all enjoying themselves playing very basic genre caricatures.

Unfortunately I didn't share the experiences of those rolling in the aisles with laughter. I found it the film to be funny but not hilarious. I think this may have been because I didn't find the reaction of the genre to be inherently funny so much as others may have done – personally I just took it as a job well done by the makers. The comedy was in the little twists and excesses of that genre creation and this in itself gave me plenty to laugh at throughout the film. It was a little disappointing to find that it wasn't funnier – but it was still enjoyable.

Overall though, this is a comedy for those that know the blaxploitation genre because it recreates and affectionately mocks it from within. Perhaps this affectionate air stopped it being funnier or sharper but it is still an enjoyable comedy with a real sense of what it is sending up.
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Black Dynamite: He Threw That Before You Came in the Room
Ayreesfoxx19 February 2010
Blaxploitation: A popular 1970s genre for the African-American community utilizing funk and soul music (however, a few years after the popularity wore off, it became a dumping ground for bad stereotypes and bad acting). It was what made shows and movies like "Shaft" and "Jackie-Brown" amazing in their own way. Then they died out, just like all things do in their own time, until Michael Jai White and Scott Sanders got saw that The Man needed to get tousled with.

These two bring back what could potentially be one of the best blaxpolitation films done. It has all the elements from the eclectic hair and clothing (all bellbottoms and afro's) to the over-color exposure and groovy soundtrack (all of which was composed by Adrian Young). What's more, they do it in a fashion where they both poke fun at the genre while giving you the full experience. What you get in the end is a delicious and bubbly mixture of hilarious as well as a badly written story that you can't help but love.

The plot is all centered around Black Dynamite (White), a badass mutha that is a one-man army. His community has become hopelessly addicted to drugs (thanks to The Man) and only he can clean up the mess. He gathers a group to help all of the children in the community; people like Honey Bee, Chocolate Giddy Up, and Tasty Freeze to name a few. However, once you get midway through the movie the plot becomes less of a necessity, and more of a hindrance. You basically stop thinking about what's happening and start enjoying whatever is on screen.

"Black Dynamite" delivers that perfectly. You see the occasional boom mic just inside the frame, an actor reciting his stage directions along with his lines, seeing pointless body doubles for a frame. It's all done purposely and in the good fun to remind and bring back the feelings of a time where the money and the acting didn't matter as much as the entertainment value did. You can throw your cares of how well a director can incorporate a fade or CGI, how well the special effects work… and just have fun.

Needless to say, the acting in this is superb. It's over the top, campy and half of them can barely remember their lines. That takes true talent for several of these stars to be able to act so poorly and yet still deliver an amazing performance. White fits the perfect urban warrior; with his meticulous afro and mustache that even Shaft would have to shut his mouth to. Even Arsenio Hall playing a tough love pimp Tasty Freeze plays it up perfectly, fitting right in with all the plush purple and pump canes.

Even if this isn't a movie for you, it's something that you at least have to experience once just to get the full flavor of something that isn't around anymore. Not only that, but it's rare that you can see, hear and almost taste the heart and dedication that went into every single joke and shot in this movie. It's honestly one of the few movies I can say I enjoyed and watched without having to worry about anything other than when the next joke or punch was going to come in.
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