Black Dynamite (2009)

(On DVD, May 2010) Genre parodies often depend on the good intentions of its audience, and the concept of spoofing seventies blaxploitation pictures is no exception: Ideally, viewers are expected to be reasonably familiar with the object of the spoof, and be ready to play along with the deliberate mistakes and weaknesses inspired by the source material.  Black Dynamite is reasonably funny on its own (expect to quote bits of dialogue for a few days), but it’s far more amusing if you’re in the right mood for a film that intentionally apes ultra-low-budget shortcuts and mistakes.  Aware that the blaxploitation-parody concept runs a risk of wearing thin, the picture keeps throwing curves and adopting new plots every fifteen minutes: by the time the protagonist is kung-fu fighting with Richard Nixon in the White House, well, we’ve been led somewhere off this planet in a grandiose fashion.  Not every gag works, but they come at such a steady rate that no one has to wait a long time before the next one.  Michael Jai White is great as the titular lead character, while the rest of the cast looks as if it’s having a lot of fun as well.  Black Dynamite had a minuscule theatrical release, but it’s probably best appreciated at home –where blaxploitation films live even today.

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