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.