I guess I'm going to have to finally write my review of "Black Dynamite" from Sundance after this. Seeing "Black," the French film that played as one of the midnight movies on Saturday at SXSW in Austin, I think I'm finally able to articulate why that earlier Sundance sensation didn't quite sit right with me. No matter, though... for anyone who genuinely enjoys black American cinema of the '70s in all its forms, high and low, is in for a huge treat as soon as an American distributor steps up to acquire what could easily be a breakout hit, a movie that manages to mix African mysticism, blaxploitation, and the heist thriller into something that felt truly original. I loved it... and I'm willing to bet others will, too.
MC Jean Gab'1 (any fan of Jean Gabin's work has gotta love that rap name) is probably most familiar to American genre fans as one of the bad guys from "District B13," but based on his work here, I'd love to see the guy break out as an international movie star. He's got a great face, and he's able to convincingly handle all the action while always bringing a sly, subtle humor to everything. He's not just a presence... this guy's the real deal, a very good actor in the body of an action hero. Carole Karemera is just as visually striking, just as powerfully built, and she makes a fitting female lead opposite Gab'1. She plays Pamela, a woman whose fate it completely tied to the fate of Black, Gab'1's character. The chemistry between these two is a big reason the film works. They don't really meet until about a third of the way into the movie, but once they do, it's immediate, almost electric, and the film (which is already very good at that point) gets a jumpstart that carries it even higher.
[more after the jump]