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Black Dynamite

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Scott Sanders
Produced by Jon Steingart
Jenny Wiener Steingart
Written by Story:
Michael Jai White
Byron Minns
Scott Sanders
Michael Jai White
Byron Minns
Starring Michael Jai White
Salli Richardson
Arsenio Hall
Kevin Chapman
Tommy Davidson
Music by Adrian Younge
Cinematography Shawn Maurer
Editing by Adrian Younge
Distributed by Apparition (U.S. theatrical)
Destination Films (all media)
Release date(s) October 16, 2009 (2009-10-16)
Running time 90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.9 million
Gross revenue $242,578[1]

Black Dynamite is a 2009 film starring Michael Jai White, Salli Richardson, Arsenio Hall, Kevin Chapman and Tommy Davidson. It is a spoof of blaxploitation films of the 1970s. The film is directed by Scott Sanders and co-written by White, Sanders, and Byron Minns, who also co-stars. Former CIA agent Black Dynamite must avenge his brother's death while cleaning the streets of a new drug which is ravaging the community.

The film had a trailer and funding even before a script was written. Black Dynamite was shot in a twenty day schedule in Super 16 film. The film was released on October 16, 2009 in the United States for only two weeks. Despite being well received by critics, Black Dynamite only grossed $242,578 in the United States. Black Dynamite was released for home video on February 16, 2010.



Black Dynamite, a former CIA agent, vows to clean up the streets after his brother is killed by a shady organization. O'Leary, Black Dynamite's old CIA partner, reinstates Black Dynamite back into the agency because they do not want him seeking vengeance by himself. Trying to get to the bottom of his brother's murder he finds out that his brother was actually working for the CIA. Black Dynamite also finds out the shady organization is filling the black orphanages with heroin. He declares war on local drug dealers and successfully cleans up the streats.

After discovering the government's involvement in the drug ring, Black Dynamite steals the ledger belonging to the corrupt Congressman James. Dynamite and his team must storm the warehouse to capture a big shipment. They learn of code Kansas but find no drugs in the warehouse, only Anaconda malt liquor. In a diner they decipher code Kansas to be a plan to use Anaconda malt liquor to shrink black men's penises. Back at the warehouse Black Dynamite finds O'Leary is part of the evil plan but is just following orders.

Black Dynamite heads to Kung Fu Island, where he discovers that the Fiendish Dr. Wu created the secret formula put in Anaconda malt liquor. After defeating him in battle, Black Dynamite discovers from Dr. Wu the true mastermind of the entire operation.

Black Dynamite then travels to the White House and confronts President Richard Nixon, who has been giving the orders from the beginning. After Black Dynamite defeats Nixon in a kung fu battle, he begs for his life and his plan is foiled.



"It’s just a little too badass. That’s the tone of the movie. Our humor comes from the fact that the movie is just a little too badass".

Scott Sanders, director/writer[3]

White originally thought of the idea around April 2006 for Black Dynamite while listening to James Brown's Super Bad. White had also held blaxploitation movie parties where he picked up the "funny inconsistencies" in the films. White rented costumes, photographed himself, and showed it to Sanders who was attracted to the idea.[2]

The original trailer was recorded even before the film went into production in order to raise money.[4] It incorporated scenes from old blaxploitation movies with old voice overs from Adolph Caesar.[3] The trailer was shot on Super 8 mm film for around $500.[4] White and Sanders showed it to Jon Steingart who told them "Oh my God. Okay, we can raise the money for this."[3]

After they were financed the writing of the script took about three weeks.[2] They worked independently until they realized Sanders' script was on the wrong track, he was able to help more in the rewrite.[5] During the writing process Minns' almost "encyclopedic knowledge" of blaxploitation helped them write the script faster.[3]


The cinematographer Shawn Maurer shot the film in Super 16 Color Reversal Kodak film stock to get the high contrast and saturated look.[4] The film was then converted to digital for editing.[6] The filmmakers supplemented their shoot with period stock footage from Sony Pictures Stock Footage. Using films such as Missing in Action, Charlie's Angels, and Police Woman.[7] Black Dynamite was shot over twenty days in Los Angeles with several green screen days and one re-shoot day.[5] The film had such a low-budget that they had to "think in the same ways that they had to think" in the older blaxploitation movies.[4] Sanders and White had a difficult time keeping the modern world out of the movie. Sanders was worried about anything modern that could destroy "the whole illusion" while White worked individually with actors to keep their tone correct.[2]


Adrian Younge plays all instruments on the soundtrack and wrote the lyrics on every song except "Shine", "Cleaning Up The Streets", and "Gloria". His influences on the score were Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Ennio Morricone, and Wu-Tang Clan. Morricone greatly influenced Younge from the classical European funk music while Wu-Tang helped him focus on making music they would want to sample. Sanders gave Younge almost 100% leeway but he still had to work hard to impress others working on the film. [6]


Black Dynamite premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, where Sony Worldwide Acquisitions picked it up for distribution for "nearly $2 million".[8] On June 14, the film went on to win the Golden Space Needle Audience Award for Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival, beating The Hurt Locker among other films.[9] On August 25, 2009, it was announced that Apparition, a new distributor headed by Bill Pohlad and Bob Berney, would handle the film's domestic release.[10]

Critical reception

The film received positive reviews and now holds an 84% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 44 reviews, the general consensus being the film is "A loving and meticulous send-up of 1970s blaxsploitation movies, Black Dynamite is funny enough for the frat house and clever enough for film buffs".[11] On Metacritic Black Dynamite has a 65/100 falling in the generally favorable reviews.[12]

Entertainment Weekly's critic Owen Gleiberman wrote, "Black Dynamite blends satire, nostalgia, and cinema deconstruction..." noting Sanders captured the language and feel of blaxploitation.[13] Roger Ebert awarded the film three stars out of four, and said, "Black Dynamite gets it mostly right, and when it's wrong, it's wrong on purpose and knows just what it's doing." He went on further to say that the film meticulously reproduces a 1970s blaxploitation and brings back much-needed gratuitous nudity.[14]

Critic A. O. Scott of The New York Times considered Black Dynamite would be a better "five-minute clip on YouTube" then a feature film. Scott thought the acting was "stiff" and the dialogue to be "painfully self-conscious."[15] James Greenberg writing for The Hollywood Reporter believed the film would not hold audience's attention because among all the detail there was no real story.[16]

Box office

Black Dynamite had a limited release to only 70 theaters and a run time of two weeks. The film's opening weekend grossed $131,862 for a two-week total of $242,578. This placed it at number 264 for all films released in 2009.[1]

Home media

Black Dynamite was released on February 16, 2010 on DVD and Blu-ray. Both releases contain deleted scenes, a "making-of" featurette and a ComicCon Q&A panel but the Blu-ray has an extra featurette and trivia track.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Black Dynamite (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  2. ^ a b c d Kelly, Kevin. "Michael Jai White and Scott Sanders Interview, Black Dynamite, Sundance 2009". Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  3. ^ a b c d Rabin, Nathan (October 23, 2009). "Michael Jai White and Scott Sanders".,34458/. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  4. ^ a b c d Nunziata, Nick (October 14, 2009). "Interview: Michael Jai White & Scott Sanders (Black Dynamite)". Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  5. ^ a b "Black Dynamite: Movie production notes". Apparition. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  6. ^ a b Boyle, Christopher (November 17, 2009). "Interview With Black Dynamite Composer/Editor Adrian Younge". Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  7. ^ Topel, Fred (October 14, 2009). "Scott Sanders directs Black Dynamite". Crave online. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  8. ^ Nelson, Rob (January 20, 2009). Black Dynamite "Black Dynamite Moview Review From The Sundance Film Festival". Black Dynamite. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  9. ^ "Seattle International Film Festival 2009 Award Winners". siff. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  10. ^ Knegt, Peter (August 25, 2009). "Apparition Takes 'Dynamite'". indieWIRE. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  11. ^ "Black Dynamite". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  12. ^ "Black Dynamite Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  13. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (October 14, 2009). "Black Dynamite".,,20312174,00.html. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger (October 14, 2009). Black Dynamite "Black Dynamite". Black Dynamite. Retrieved 2010-03-09.  3/4 stars
  15. ^ Scott, A. O. (October 16, 2009). "Movie Review - Black Dynamite". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  16. ^ Greenberg, James (January 22, 2009). "Film Review: Black Dynamite". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  17. ^ Strowbridge, C.S. (February 16, 2010). "DVD and Blu-ray Releases for February 16th, 2010". The Numbers. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Black Dynamite is the story of 1970s African-American action legend Black Dynamite. The Man killed his brother, pumped heroin into local orphanages, and flooded the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor. Black Dynamite was the one hero willing to fight The Man all the way from the blood-soaked city streets to the hallowed halls of the Honky House.

Directed by Scott Sanders. Written by Michael Jai White.
He's super bad. He's outta sight. He's Black Dynamite. (taglines)


Black Dynamite

  • Shh, mama, you gonna wake up the rest of the bitches.
  • Tiny, get pimpin’ Jake out of my trunk, tell him, “the rest of my money by Wednesday or I’ll make him stick himself.”
  • Mama, you can bet yo sweet ass and half a titty whoever ordered the hit on you has already got the pigs in they back pocket.
  • Who the hell’s interrupting my Kung Fu?!
  • I know I was the best CIA agent the CIA ever had, but I thought I told you honkies from the CIA that Black Dynamite was out of the game!
  • Look here, punk. I’m blacker than the ace of spades and more militant than you and your whole damned army put together. And while you’re out there chanting at rallies and brow beating politicians, I’m taking out any money frontin’ sucker on a humble that gets in my way.
  • The worst thing about these dealers getting children addicted to this new smack, is that these children are ORPHANS…. And orphans don’t have parents.
  • It may be bigger than you and it may be bigger than me but, it’s not bigger than you and me! Can you dig it?
  • (after killing a donut costume-wearing assassin) Donuts don’t wear alligator shoes.
  • Your knowledge of scientific biological transmogrification is only outmatched by your zest for kung-fu treachery.
  • I’d like to take the credit but dig mama, there’s no “I” in “revolut” …in “team.”
  • Now that the man has our backs to the wall, I ain’t gonna let em hurt the kids.
  • You can hit the streets or the sheets, it don’t make Dynamite no nevermind. That’s your bag, baby. You can go or you can come, can you dig it?
  • (to Thelma Nixon) First Lady, I’m sorry I pimp slapped you into that china cabinet.
  • (throws eyeballs at Fiendish Dr. Wu) You told him to keep an eye out for me.
  • You diabolical dick shrinkin' motherfuckers!
  • Aha! I threw that shit before I came in the room!
  • Do you see where I'm coming from you jive motherfucker!


  • You know he came around here about a week ago, with some cats that I had never seen before. Man I mean these cats looked mean! Meaner than two fat motherfuckers wrestling over pork chops greens, can you dig it?
  • Go get Chicago Wind before he disappears. I'll take care of this gorilla eatin' goon here!
  • Oh, you's a corn-fed fool with a lot of muscle mass. But it's time for Bullhorn to get up in that ass!


  • O'Leary: I’ve already taken the liberty of re-issuing your license to kill.
  • Gloria: I hope you don’t think that means you can have some of this cookie because if I offered you some of this cookie, this cookie might kill you.
  • Honeybee: Black Dynamite, I want to thank you for taking care of us when we was down and out, and didn't have no pimp.
  • Honeybee: They replaced the chain on your nunchucks, and four of the bearings.


Black Dynamite: Now you be cool, baby, Bee here will keep you tight and outta sight. Dynamite’s gonna shake the tree from the roots, rake up the fruits, rip it up out the ground to find out what’s goin down. Don’t worry bout tomorrow cause tonight, Dyna-
Off Camera Ho: Dynamite’s gonna make it all right!
Black Dynamite: Euphoria, shut the fuck up! I know that was you, I ain’t even gotta look! I should send you back to Crenshaw Pete with his hot coat hangers, bitch, would you like that?!

Gloria: So you’re one of those Tom Slick brothers that think they can get by on good looks, a wink and a smile, huh?
Black Dynamite: Tom Slick – no. But thank you for the compliment.
Gloria (trying to cover): No, I didn’t mean that. Not that I think you have good looks. I just mean, y’know these guys with their-
Black Dynamite: Winks and smiles?
Gloria: Yeah
Black Dynamite: [winks]
Gloria: Well what about the smile?
Black Dynamite (deadpan serious): I am smiling

O'Leary: We heard about your brother’s death and we don’t want you running around turning the streets into rivers of blood.
Black Dynamite: Then tell me who did it and I’ll just leave a puddle.

Afrodity: I get off in 15 minutes!
Black Dynamite: You right about that, Sugar.

Valet: Bullhorn, do you want anything?
Bullhorn: Yes, I would like some of that ass.

Doctor: Black Dynamite, I mean really!
Black Dynamite: Hey man, you shouldn’t of sent her in here with them titties. What you expect?

Doctor: You’re lucky, Black Dynamite. Three inches to the left and we wouldn’t be having this conversation
Black Dynamite: Three inches to the right and he would’ve missed my black ass.

Black Dynamite: Bullhorn, Cream Corn says he can help us find the men we’re looking for. What do you think?
Bullhorn: I think we should put our ankles in it!

Shawanda: My Mama said my Daddy’s name is Black Dynamite.
Brikwilla: So did my mama.
Black Dynamite: Uh, hush up little girls, lotta cats have that name.


  • He's super bad. He's outta sight. He's Black Dynamite.
  • He's a powder keg of black fury that's about to explode!
  • Hundred dollar suits. Ten thousand dollar cars. Million dollar ladies.


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