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Fred Has Fun Playing With Black Dynamite

Published October 16, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Sony Pictures
Black Dynamite PosterBlack Dynamite
Black Dynamite totally captures the ‘70s style in a knowing spoof and irreverent homage to the Blaxploitation genre. It’s better than I’m Gonna Git You Sucka and more fun than Tarantino’s tedious later efforts like Death Proof and Inglourious Basterds (WWII I know, but he’s always ‘70s style.)

Review: Black Dynamite


The use of zooms alone defines Black Dynamite’s style, but they have more ‘70s tricks too. Their use is strategic and skillful, not just wild camera because nobody cares. They care, a lot. They play with split screens, phone voiceover, even theme songs in a self-knowing wink, but it never becomes smarmy or superior.

It’s got a sort of Walk Hard tone of performance, which won’t do the marketing department any favors but it’s a high watermark for satire. Characters announce their ages and speak morals and ultimatums with melodramatic sincerity. Repeating the same keywords over and over, with an overly earnest tone, gives them the perfect faux gravitas, like the ‘70s actors were really trying their best.

I love breaking the fourth wall. Showing the boom is perfect because it’s totally part of the world. The actor looks at it, but stays in the scene. They mess up action moments, but keep trying to play it badass. Michael Jai White does real martial arts moves in ridiculous settings.


The editing is really good. It keeps the technique disjointed but it makes the point quicker than real ‘70s cheapies could. It gives you the impression of big action, a montage of sequences that look big but they really only shot a snippet of it. Each scene has one big stunt so it looks like a lot more happened than did. That’s how you do a low budget movie. Sell it.

The climax is so outrageous I can’t believe it. The ending outdoes Inglourious Basterds because it’s not even about making a statement. It’s just about being crazy, which is what awesome movies should be.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Sony Pictures
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