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"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.
From 2012 to 2015, Adult Swim aired a TV series adaptation that lasted two seasons.
- Affectionate Parody
- Afro Asskicker: Black Dynamite.
- All Asians Are Alike: 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.
- Ambiguously Gay: Cream Corn.
- Animated Adaptation: Episode 1. [dead link] It is assumed that the animated series has a different continuity than the film.
- Anyone Can Die: In the film, all of Dynamite's allies who go with him to Kung Fu Island end up dead.
- As You Know: Played for comedy in Black Dynamite's flashback. People helpfully slip their names and ages into their dialogue.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Richard Nixon.
- Awesome, Dear Boy: Arsenio Hall agreed to a cameo when he saw the script had a character called "Captain Kangaroo Pimp."
- Awesome McCoolname: Black Dynamite. Yes, this appears to be his legal given name.
- 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.
Officer Nancy: 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', comin', comin', comin', comin'.
- Badass Longcoat
- Badass Mustache
- Bat Deduction: Black Dynamite's Eureka Moment at Roscoe's, where he figures out the evil plot by some Insane Troll Logic.
- Berserk Button: BD is rather touchy about being interrupted. He also doesn't handle orphans hooked on drugs very well.
- 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.
- Bullhorn turns out to be too effective at holding off the mook, because he apparently pisses off the actor so badly that he attacks Bullhorn's actor and they had replace him with a new one, covered up by a hilariously sloppy cut.
- 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.
- Boring Invincible Hero: Played with, as Black Dynamite easily defeats almost everyone that tries to attack him. In fact, the only one who came remotely close to defeating him was Richard Nixon. That is, until a certain former president's GHOST intervenes in the battle.
- 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!"
- 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.
- Chewing the Scenery: Black Dynamite's tirade when confronting Fiendish Dr. Wu and when Bullhorn dies by his hand.
Black Dynamite: " Bullhorn! NO! 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!
- C Word Privileges: During the interrogation scene, Black Dynamite keeps striking the worker for Anaconda Malt Liqour with his nunchucks everytime the latter calls Black Dynamite a coon.
- Dead Little Brother
- 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?
- 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.
- The Dragon: Fiendish Doctor Wu.
- Drugs Are Bad
- Eureka Moment: A ridiculously circuitous, 5-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 Back
- Flash Step: Black Dynamite pulls off an impressive one in the dojo scene, although it might have been an intentional error.
- Foreshadowing: The scene with the zodiac love-making positions; the Greek zodiac later plays a role in deciphering the true purpose of Anaconda Malt Liquor.
- Funny Afro: Countless, but Cream Corn's takes the cake, as not only is it gigantic, but it is shaped like a pimp hat.
- Gag Penis: Played straight in the film, subverted in the animated series.
- 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 Domain Character: Richard Nixon and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln both appear in this movie.
- Historical In-Joke: Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles was inspired by a totally random lunch order apparently.
- 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.
- Ironic Echo Cut: In the animated series, Black Dynamite is chatting up a woman who works at a fast-food chicken restaurant. When asked, the woman hesitates to tell Black Dynamite the chicken's secret recipe. Cut to: Black Dynamite's bedroom, where the woman is hilariously reciting the ingredients during sex with Black Dynamite.
- Its All Greek to Me: 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 Chinese when talking to Fiendish Dr. Wu.
- 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.
- Kiai: Black Dynamite bellows out a kiai whenever he throws a strike. "HOOOO-EEEE!!"
- 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.
- This movie has the largest number of phrases belted at full volume since 300.
- 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. 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.
- Mundane Solution: Nixon tries simply shooting Black Dynamite... but Abe Lincoln kung-fu'd the derringer out of his hands.
- 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.
- One-Man Army: BD is deservingly described as this.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Most of the supporting cast. Black Dynamite, however, seems to actually be the man's name.
- The Other Darrin: A stuntman is replaced mid-action scene after he's accidentally struck in the face and gets angry.
- Our Presidents Are Different
- Overly Long Gag: The aforementioned Eureka Moment, which is about 4 minutes in length.
- Perpetual Frowner: Black Dynamite wears a stoic, badass expression no matter what he's doing.
Black Dynamite: I am smiling.
- 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:
- When Black Dynamite encounters Richard Nixon in the White House, Nixon pulls out a pair of nunchucks and yells "Showtime, motherfucker!", though his speech becomes a minor Cluster F-Bomb afterwards.
- Fiendish Dr. Wu pulls one as well, in chinese even. He also performs another one in English, when a Mook follows him:
Fiendish Dr. Wu: What the fuck!? Keep your eye on Black Dynamite!
- 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.
Black Dynamite: HAHA! I threw that shit before I walked in the room! *kick*"
- Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: One of the revolutionaries does this.
Sarcastically, I am in charge.
- 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 and the animated series, easily. 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".
- Retirony: Complete with Fatal Family Photo. Lampshaded by BD:
- Revolvers Are Just Better: BD fires off 18 rounds without reloading.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: BD goes on one after he finds out about his brother Jimmy is killed.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Bullhorn. A funny moment occurs in the film when Bullhorn runs out of rhymes. Lampshaded by a villain in the animated series.
- 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.
- Sharp-Dressed Man
- 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 sound like Jim Kelly's - the martial artist who played Williams in Enter the Dragon.
- Signature Shot: In every movie Michael Jae 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.
- Sociopathic Hero: Black Dynamite displays shades of this, particularly when he destroys the drug kingpin's car with a helicopter and laughs uncontrollably.
- Soft Glass
- Soul Brotha: Everyone.
- Special Effects 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: Parodied in the trailer.
- 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.
- Supervillain Lair: Kung Fu Island.
- 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.
- They Plotted a Perfectly Good Waste: They plotted the shit out of that waste!
- Truth Serums: Gunsmoke uses one to make the Anaconda Malt Liquor worker reveal the basic details of Code Kansas.
- Viral Marketing: FightSmackInTheOrphanage.org, "becase orphans don't have parents."
- Visible Boom Mic: Intentionally, obviously. Michael Jai White even looks visibly distracted by it.
- The White House: Called "The Honky House"
- Weapon of Choice: BD prefers magnum revolvers and nunchaku.
- Who Dares?: Bullhorn after BD accidentally interrupts a moment between him and a ho:
Bullhorn: Man, who dare knock when I'm planning to plant my-- (Dynamite! 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.