Wednesday, August 18, 2010
One Minute Review: Black Dynamite
The problem with Black Dynamite is that it doesn't quite know whether it is a spoof or an homage and so it fails at both. How couldn't it? After all, as an homage it comes up short because what made Blaxpoltation so popular in the first place is that it had no point of reference other than itself. It didn't pay tribute to anything, wasn't inspired by anything and therefore played by it's own rules. As tribute, Black Dynamite has knowledge as it's enemy. It knows what Blaxplotation became, what it stood for, how it worked and so on. In this case, knowledge certainly isn't power. As a spoof it doesn't work because Blaxplotation was so off the wall that it, in many cases, played like it's own spoof. Black Dynamite is thus best when it is playing it perfectly straight because it combines the best of both spoof and tribute and manages to feel, in spite of itself, like an actual movie and can be quite funny. Here's a perfect example: The film begins failing when it goes into full on Airplane style spoof mode in which it tries too hard and achieves too little. If nothing more though, Black Dynamite acts as an amusing reminder of why we should go back and rediscover all those bBaxplotion classics once again.