"Whenever there's injustice, wrongs to be righted, innocents to be defended, Black Dynamite will be there, delivering ass-whuppings."
"Who the hell is interrupting my kung fu?!"Black Dynamite
is an entirely ridiculous, over-the-top 2009 homage to the Blaxploitation
films of The Seventies
. Michael Jai White plays the title character, a Vietnam vet and former CIA agent who declares war on all drug dealers when his brother, a CIA informant, turns up murdered by the mob. He soon discovers that the conspiracy goes far beyond the local drug dealers and sets his sights on the masterminds behind the scheme.The animated series
premiered on [adult swim]
on July 15 2012, with many of the movie's cast reprising their roles.
As Bullhorn would say, "The film as it was just described above, contains tropes that are examples of:"
- Affectionate Parody
- Anyone Can Die: In the film, all of Dynamite's allies who go with him to Kung Fu Island end up dead.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Black Dynamite says he didn't understand the Vietnamese child's "Chinese" last words, saying it sounding like "some kind of cartoon shit." Later, he reveals that he actually does know actual Chinese when talking to Fiendish Dr. Wu.
- As You Know: Played for comedy in Black Dynamite's flashback. People helpfully slip their names and ages into their dialogue.
- Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Richard Nixon. The guy's got nunchucks with the Presidential Seal inside his desk in the Oval Office.
- Badass Boast:
- Black Dynamite, when one of the militants confronts him.
Black Dynamite: Listen, sucka. I'm blacker than the ace of spades and more militant than you and your whole damn army put together. While you're out there chantin' at rallies and brow beatin' politicians, I'm takin' out any money-frontin' sucka on a hummer that gets in my way. So I tell you what: when your so-called "revolution" starts, you call me, and I'll be right down front, showin' you how it's done. But until then, you need to shut the fuck up when grown folks is talkin'.
- He's even given one from Officer Nancy, the policeman investigating Jimmy's death.
My God, men! Do you know what this means!? Do you know whose brother... this ghetto is gonna be turned upside down, I tell you, upside down! The streets are gonna run crimson with the blood of the men responsible for his brother's death. Man I'm speaking of is a veritable one man army
and if you get on his bad side, brother, you're done for. Now it's only a matter of time before he finds out and when he does, no matter where he is, get ready gentlemen, because hell's a comin'
- Bad Bad Acting: Many of the line readings are delivered in an intentionally stilted way to parody the level of acting you might find in a cheap blaxploitation film. In one notable example, Black Dynamite is supposed to be frolicking playfully with his new girlfriend, but the actor is clearly confused and annoyed by the scene.
- Bat Deduction: Black Dynamite's Eureka Moment at a diner, where he figures out the evil plot by some Insane Troll Logic. Starting from M & M's slogan, with an extended trip to Ancient Greece and Rome, which of course everyone is familiar with, and ending up at Little Richard.
- Big Bad: Richard Nixon.
- Big Damn Heroes: After BD dispatches almost all of Chicago Wind's goons, the last one remaining points a gun at him, letting Wind escape. Almost right afterwards, Bullhorn appears, knocking the gun out of the minion's hand, giving Dynamite a chance to chase after Chicago.
Bullhorn: Go catch Chicago Wind before he disappears! I'll take care of this gorilla-eatin' goon here.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: This is why the Big Bad wants to take, er, something away from the black people, in order to reduce their population.
- Big "NO!": After a Secret Service agent blows up the helicopter Cream Corn's in, Black Dynamite does one of these.
- Bilingual Bonus:
- The phrase that Black Dynamite heard the dying "Chinese" kid speak is actually Vietnamese for "You are full of shit."
- The rest of the foreign dialog is Cluster F-Bombs.
- Black Is Bigger in Bed: The protagonist manages to have sex with three women simultaneously, and please all of them equally. And to take the gag Up to Eleven, it is revealed that three or four more women were asleep next to the bed at the time, already having been pleasured.
- Bottomless Magazines: Black Dynamite's six-shot revolver can fire two dozen rounds without reloading.
- Bragging Theme Tune: With lyrics like "Use kung fu when he want to / have sex when he please".
- Brick Joke: After a shootout that ruins his chili and donuts restaurant, Roscoe remarks that the odd combination wasn't working out anyway. Nearly an hour later, Creamed Corn scoffs at a waitress' ridiculous offer of chicken and waffles. Upon hearing this, Roscoe jumps up in the background, shouts "That's IT!" and runs out of the diner.
- Cameo: Arsenio Hall, Brian McKnight, Tommy Davidson, Cedric Yarbrough. All the girls shown topless on-screen are real-life porn stars.
- Captain Obvious:
- "These children are orphans, and orphans don't have parents!"
- Also this hilarious exchange:
Militiaman: How did you get here?
Black Dynamite: I walked in...
- The Casanova: Black Dynamite, who per movie tradition flirts with becoming a Ladykiller in Love by the end.
- Character as Himself: Inverted, as the main characters are "played" by equally fictional "actors":
- Baltimore Colts All-Star Running Back Ferrante Jones (Michael Jai White) as Black Dynamite.
- Ebony Fashion Fair Model Tambula Qatar (Salli Richardson) as Gloria.
- William T Michaelson (Mykelti Williamson) as Chicago Wind.
- Ronnie Sinatra (Kevin Chapman) as O'Leary.
- Little Tiny Tiggs (Tommy Davidson) as Cream Corn.
- June Bug (Arsenio Hall) as Tasty Freeze.
- Bo Willy Peters (Buddy Lewis) as Gunsmoke.
- And me, that bad Bullhorn (Byron Minns) as Himself, making him a straight example of the trope as well.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: An actual bladed boomerang, which returns to the target if it misses the first time. The Fiendish Dr. Wu throws it offscreen to kill Bullhorn, then throws it again at Black Dynamite to distract him twice, giving Fiendish Dr. Wu enough time to flee. Black Dynamite throws it the third time, while offscreen, to have it home in on Fiendish Dr. Wu later on.
- Chewing the Scenery: Black Dynamite's tirade when confronting Fiendish Dr. Wu and when Bullhorn dies by his hand.
Black Dynamite: " Bullhorn! At long last, a friendship bonded by the struggle against The Man has been brought to an end by KUNG-FU TREACHERY! Brother, your death will not go unavenged. FIENDISH DR. WU, YOU DONE FUCKED UP NOW!!!"
- Crazy-Prepared: BD already threw that shit (a boomerang) before he walked in the room!
- Curse Cut Short: Also interrupting one of Bullhorn's rhymes no less, just as he was about to get it on with a woman.
*Black Dynamite enters the room*
—main man Black Dynamite!
- Deadpan Snarker: Black Dynamite in the hospital after being shot in the shoulder by Raffeli's hitmen.
Black Dynamite: So how's my x-ray?
Black Dynamite's doctor: Well, no fragments. In and out. You're lucky Black Dynamite. Three inches to the left and we wouldn't even be having this conversation!
Black Dynamite: Three inches to the right, it woulda missed my black ass.
- Destination Defenestration: If there's a window nearby, it's pretty much a guarantee that Black Dynamite will throw someone through it. Even twelve-year old Black Dynamite!
- Disc One Final Boss: O'Leary being the first disc final boss and Fiendish Doctor Wu being the second.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Black Dynamite has some anger issues, to put it mildly. 12 year-old Black Dynamite gets mercilessly teased by a few kids for being an orphan. He tosses them out of a window.
- Double Entendre: "Anaconda Malt Liquor gives you 'oooo'." Sounds innocent enough, but after a Eureka Moment you realize it means it gives you a tiny penis.
- The Dragon: Fiendish Doctor Wu.
- Driving a Desk: The rear projection shows Chicago Wind's car making some pretty big turns, despite him not looking at the road. Then when he turns to look at the road, he instantly screams as he's about to run over a cliff that wasn't in the rear projection.
- Drugs Are Bad
- Eureka Moment: A ridiculously circuitous, 3-minute long one that also counts as Insane Troll Logic.
- Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting
- Every Car Is a Pinto: The Stock Footage used takes this up to eleven - the cars that Black Dynamite destroy actually explode before they hit anything.
- Eye Scream: The mook who was told to keep his eye on Black Dynamite. Do you see where he's coming from, you jive mothafuckaaa!?
- Fanservice Extra: Done, as with everything else, in the style of old blaxsploitation movies.
- Fighting with Chucks: The weapon of choice for Black Dynamite and Richard Nixon.
- Flash Step: Black Dynamite pulls off an impressive one in the dojo scene, although it might have been an intentional error.
- Throughout the opening commercial for Anaconda Malt Liquor, Leon St. James is never shown taking a sip, or even raising the bottle to his lips. Clearly, he's not willing to risk the side effects on his love life.
"Is that Anaconda Malt Liquor? The only malt liquor approved by the United States Government?"
- The scene with the zodiac love-making positions; the Greek zodiac later plays a role in deciphering the true purpose of Anaconda Malt Liquor.
- Black Dynamite swears on the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, who helps him to defeat Richard Nixon. That's what Nixon gets for using John Wilkes Boothe's derringer.
- Freudian Excuse: A heroic inversion: The reason why Dynamite jumps at the chance to help out orphans is because he didn't exactly have the best childhood growing up after he became one himself.
- Funny Afro: Countless, but Cream Corn's takes the cake, as not only is it gigantic, but it is shaped like a pimp hat.
- Gilligan Cut: Cream Corn claims to know nothing about Jimmy's murder, and the movie cuts immediately to Cream Corn held upside-down over the side of a building, offering to tell Black Dynamite what he knows.
- Guns Akimbo: Black Dynamite's modus operandi as parachutes down to the White House, laying waste to Secret Service members all the while.
- Hidden Depths: Everyone seems to know a great deal about Greek and Roman mythology. And Kansas area codes.
- High-Altitude Interrogation: How Black Dynamite gets Cream Corn to spill the beans about Chicago Wind.
- Historical Beauty Update: Pat Nixon. Actually Richard Nixon as well. Perhaps you just can't make people look as bad as they did with just makeup.
- Historical-Domain Character: Richard Nixon and his wife and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln all appear in this movie.
- Historical In-Joke: Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles (a real place) was inspired by a totally random lunch order. His previous venture was Roscoe's Chili & Donuts.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Non-lethal example, when Fiendish Dr. Wu get his left arm cut off by his own boomerang, thrown at him by BD himself.
- Human Shield: When Gloria and Black Dynamite are ambushed by assassins, the latter uses the mascot of Roscoe's Chili & Donuts as one of these to provide himself cover while he guns down their assailants.
- Insistent Terminology: It's not just "Dr. Wu", it's Fiendish Dr. Wu.
- Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Played for comedy. While Black Dynamite is busy recalling a flashback of a child he saw during the Vietnam War, he keeps referring to him as Chinese rather than Vietnamese.
- Just Following Orders: O'Leary when explaining why he was the one who ordered Jimmy dead.
- Just Trying to Help: Black Dynamite pulls this line verbatim on Gloria after the latter questions him on his interest about a boy who just overdosed on smack.
- Kids Are Cruel: BD was bullied as a kid for being an orphan.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Cream Corn. The most he blurts out before dying is "Son of a biiiiiii—"
- Large Ham: BD becomes this a number of times.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Whenever the boom mike brushes his afro, or another cast member delivers a line incorrectly, Black Dynamite can often be seen glancing meaningfully at the off-screen director to end the scene. Also happens in a few purposefully sloppy edits.
- Leitmotif: After watching this movie you'll have "Dynomite! Dynomite!" playing over and over in your head.
- Leg Cling: The final pose of the film, pictured above. The white lady is First Lady Pat Nixon, to boot.
- Luke, You Are My Father: A girl mentions that her father is called Black Dynamite. Her friend, surprised, says her father is too. Black Dynamite, awkwardly trying to cover it up from his Love Interest, argues that many guys have that name.
- Man Behind the Man
- Mercy Kill: Gunsmoke would rather accept this than live on with a shrunk Johnson.
- The Mole: O'Leary.
- Moral Dissonance: Lampshaded, especially the genre's recurring choice of the hero being a pimp (who aren't generally nice people). Black Dynamite speaks of how he's out to stop drugs from being sold to kill in the neighborhood, before stopping to furiously insult and verbally threaten one of his prostitutes. This is then followed by an awkward silence from everyone present.
- Mundane Solution: Nixon tries simply shooting Black Dynamite... but Abe Lincoln kung-fu'd the derringer out of his hands.
- N-Word Privileges: Being a Blaxploitation pastiche, it's only natural that this gets a little bit of exercise. While most of the cast uses the word at least once, there are several notable examples:
- In the small amount of screen time he gets, Chicago Wind throws it around quite frequently as a means of insult.
- The security guard at the Anaconda Malt Liquor plant is definitely not allowed to use the pejorative "coon", with the militia members striking him in the head every time he does so. Eventually, he slips into a coma with a slur still on his lips.
- Nixon's wife, rather than use any particularly offensive term, instead refers to Black Dynamite by the weirdly archaic "moon cricket".
- Off with His Head!: Bullhorn, who is killed by Fiendish Dr. Wu's Precision-Guided Boomerang.
- Offhand Backhand: Black Dynamite shoots a Secret Service agent who comes up behind him while assaulting the White House.
- Oh, Crap: The entire group in the pool hall. They threaten Black Dynamite, and he turns to leave. They start throwing out insults, when Dynamite simply flips the sign and then slides the burglary gate shut. Everyone goes silent. Then the asskicking ensues.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Most of the supporting cast. Black Dynamite, however, seems to actually be the man's name.
- The Other Darrin: In-universe. A stuntman is replaced mid-action scene after he's accidentally struck in the face by Bullhorn and gets angry; his replacement looks nothing like him.
- Our Presidents Are Different
- Overly Long Gag: The aforementioned Eureka Moment, which is about 4 minutes in length.
- Pimp Duds: The scene with the pimp council, which has all the pimps seen with at least one part of the uniform (Tasty Freeze's sunglasses; Chocolate Giddy-Up's fur coat; Willie's cane; etc.).
- Precision F-Strike:
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: Substantially more illogical than that trope usually is, since here the boomerang automatically returns to the target rather than the user. Of course, This was the point.
- Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: One of the militants does this frequently."The militants turn, startled. This is private... Sarcastically, I am in charge." Much later in the film, he mentions what he's going to do when he goes home: "retire, shows picture..."
- Redshirt Army: The militia. Lampshaded by Black Dynamite himself, in response to the previous quote.
Black Dynamite: If you were in charge, you might as well surrender to whitey right now cause your survival skills ain't worth a damn.
- Refuge in Audacity: The film. Arguably the viral marketing for the film did this too, setting up a fictional charity ("Fight Smack In The Orphanage") and fictional public service announcements across Youtube. One bizarre PSA had Black Dynamite appearing on a fictional 1970's children's show that warned children against drug use. The PSA's title? "Drugs Are Fun".
- Real Trailer, Fake Movie: How the movie came to be. The original trailer (made up mostly of scenes from real blaxploitation films combined with a few scenes of original footage) was used to sell the idea to producers.
- Retirony: Complete with Fatal Family Photo. Lampshaded by BD:
- Retraux: The entire movie. It goes through so many lengths to look like an authentic '70s film that even Roger Ebert admitted that you could easily mistake it for one.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: BD fires off 18 rounds without reloading.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Lots of characters, but particularly Bullhorn.
- Roaring Rampageof Revenge: BD goes on one after he finds out about his brother Jimmy is killed.
- Saving the Orphanage: After seeing how badly smack has ravaged the children at Gloria's orphanage, Black Dynamite vows to make whoever's responsible for the drug pay.
- Serious Business: Suicide is preferable to having a small penis.
- Sharp-Dressed Man
- Shout-Out: The line "Suddenly I'd like to leave your island!" is from Bruce Lee's 1973 film Enter the Dragon. It was said by Williams, another black kung fu guy. Black Dynamite's kiais also sound like Jim Kelly's - the martial artist who played Williams in Enter the Dragon.
- "Where is Bucky, and what has he had?" is a direct reference to Rudy Ray Moore's famous line from Avenging Disco Godfather.
- Black Dynamite's fight with Fiendish Dr. Wu on Kung Fu Island (and the black spy turtleneck he wears there) is partially a take-off on the climax of That Man Bolt, starring Fred Williamson. The villain is even dispatched with a throwing star - though Bolt merely had it stick in his hand and leave him vulnerable to a shot from behind, whereas BD slices off Wu's entire arm and sets him on fire.
- Signature Shot: In every movie Michael Jai White is in, there is always a scene with a mascot being beat up. This movie has the most visible example.
- Sleazy Politician: Congressman James.
- Soft Glass
- Soul Brotha: Everyone.
- Sniff Sniff Nom: Saheed does exactly that. To a cartridge case, no less, licking it for powder residue.
- Special Effect Failure: Often and obviously intentionally invoked. Notable examples include shuriken on strings and a car driving off a cliff and exploding before it hits the ground.
- Stock Footage:
- Recreating a 70s car chase would be expensive, but there's plenty of old unused car chases from back then. And editing all that footage together makes for hilarious discontinuities. The same car explodes twice in different scenes, while resembling neither of the two cars that were supposed to explode.
- Also used in some battle scenes on Kung Fu Island.
- Storming the Castle: Both Kung Fu Island and the White House.
- Stunt Casting: In-universe, in the "fake" trailer. Black Dynamite is apparently played by "all-star running back Ferrante Jones", referencing sportsmen-turned-actors Fred Williamson and Jim Brown. "That bad Bullhorn" also appears As Himself.
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix: BD briefly discusses during with Gloria, saying that the people of the ghetto don't understand what she or Congressman James are talking about, but at least they can put his to a beat.
- Stylistic Suck: The film is presented as a shoddy blaxploitation film with 70s-era Values Dissonance and low production values. There's plenty of obvious stock footage, rough edits, bad acting and visible boom mikes.
- Super Villain Lair: Kung Fu Island.
- Teeny Weenie: The gruesome fate of all who drink Anaconda Malt Liquor, as demonstrated by Gunsmoke's cruelly "shrunk Johnson". (The prop shown was fashioned out of a rubber baby pacifier.)
- Tempting Fate: Cream Corn's first appearance; he's inside a salon getting his hair done, bragging all about how good of a pimp he is and how nobody better mess with him. Then he turns around, sees BD, and completely freaks out.
- Truth Serums: Gunsmoke uses one to make the Anaconda Malt Liquor worker reveal the basic details of Code Kansas.
- Villainous Valour: He might be a bad guy, but Richard Nixon still loves his wife and goes ape-shit when she is hurt.
- Visible Boom Mic: Intentionally, obviously. Michael Jai White even looks visibly distracted by it.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Certain plot points involving Congressman James, such as him being in league with Raffelli and getting incriminating documents heisted from his office by BD's crew, are only explained fully in deleted scenes. Of course, the somewhat disjointed nature of the final product only makes it feel even more authentically cheesy.
- The White House: Called "The Honky House".
- Who Dares?: Bullhorn after BD accidentally interrupts a moment between him and a ho:
Man, who dare knock when I'm planning to plant my— (Dynamite!
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Averted and subverted on different occasions. In the latter case BD apologizes afterwards. The struck woman is confused, seeing as how she was trying to shoot him to death.
- Yellow Peril: Fiendish Doctor Wu.