Thursday, February 18, 2016

Dynamite Brothers (1974)

During the first few minutes of the blaxploitation/martial-arts mash-up Dynamite Brothers, it almost seems as if perpetually incompetent filmmaker Al Adamson might surpass his usual low standards by actually manufacturing passable B-movie trash. Following three minutes of enjoyably kitschy illustrated opening credits, the first scene is a straightforward showdown between high-kicking warrior Larry Chin (Alan Tang) and several adversaries. Then, alas, Adamson commences storytelling, and things go south fast. Without belaboring the various dimwitted plot elements, the gist is that Larry travels from Hong Kong to America in order to find his long-lost brother, only to end up handcuffed to Stud Brown (Timothy Brown), a tough-talking African-American arrested on bogus charges. The duo shares a brief, Defiant Ones-style escapade, then break their chains to join forces and fight drug dealers. The action sprawls across San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the plot grows more and more unfathomable as it expands to include a love interest for Stud as well as a corrupt cop played by Hollywood veteran Aldo Ray. Folded into the muck are fight scenes, exploitive female nudity, and a cringe-inducing scene during which Stud seduces a mute girl named Sarah by improvising a song featuring their names. Through it all, Adamson’s filmmaking is so sloppy that it’s often hard to follow screen action within continuous scenes, much less from one scene to the next. Even with fistfights, kung fu, sex, and the reliable character actor James Hong at his disposal, Adamson can’t sustain coherence for more than a few minutes at a time, if that.

Dynamite Brothers: LAME

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