27 January 2010

At the movies: Black Dynamite.

When Vietnam veteran and ex-CIA agent Black Dynamite (Michael Jai White)’s brother is killed by a phalanx of heroin-dealing criminals, it becomes open season on those who would exploit the black community through dealing drugs, attacking orphanages, chemical warfare, and kung fu treachery. But Black Dynamite is not alone in the struggle; he has his own fighting force of street pimps, karate hoes, and conscious militants to help bring down The Man and avenge the death of his brother.

A word-of-mouth smash at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, Black Dynamite has since hammered out a rocky road in its theatrical release- getting great audience response, but in a small, slowly-circulating release pattern. Not quite as weird as Pootie Tang, much truer to its inspiration than I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Black Dynamite is nonetheless the first comedy must-see of this year for Nashvillians.

Black Dynamite is a delightful spoof of 70s blaxploitation films that manages to be clever, witty, and five times as politically audacious as much of today’s genre cinema. Perhaps it was its 70s setting or its willingness to slip the horseshoe of righteous anger inside the oversized novelty glove of comedy, but you’d have to go back to Spike Lee’s oft-maligned Bamboozled to find a film with this much horror in its heart about the exploitation of minority communities in this country.

Also, it has Captain Kangaroo Pimp and a musical sexual astrology sequence. Don’t miss it.

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