4 September 2012 | brando647
I've spent the past few months acquainting myself with the films of Rudy Ray Moore after I saw a clip from THE HUMAN TORNADO in a web article and found myself hooked. He's obviously very passionate about his work and he has a blast doing what he does, which makes it that much harder for me to say this about this movie: it was absolutely horrible. I mean, just terrible. THE DOLEMITE EXPLOSION, a return to his iconic character after almost 30 years, must have been a passion project for Moore. It was obviously done on a bare bones budget with friends filling in all the roles. It was shot on the cheapest video available and I'm pretty sure nearly all of the dialogue was redubbed in post-production, probably due to a lack of proper sound equipment during the shoot. I'm not trying to be mean; plenty of quality projects have been accomplished with minimal funding and a ragtag crew of filmmakers. THE DOLEMITE EXPLOSION just isn't one of them. The movie opens with Dolemite in Africa with his two sons
or so we're led to believe. We never actually see Africa. We're told he's in Africa and we see him answer a phone in an office loaded with tribal décor. Boom! Africa! He is contacted by his sister Jaz, who begs him to return to the U.S. Their town has become overrun with crime and the only man who can help return peace to the streets is the bad, bad Dolemite.
Right from the start, the first thing I noticed (aside from the cheap video) is the horrible sound dubbing and abundance of absurd sound effects. It's as if someone raided the Looney Tunes sound library and used it to fill in for the sound of punching when Dolemite fights. The movie is so amateur and poorly done that it's almost impossible to watch. After all his years in the industry and with all the friends he's made, Moore had to have known enough people to get a real movie done right. For example, there's a scene in the beginning of the movie that is supposed to help establish how out of control the crime scene has become: a shooting in a nightclub. Unfortunately, the nightclub looks like an empty warehouse with some minor set dressing and there are all of about 10-15 people "dancing". The performances in the movie are at their absolute worst. I know Moore's movies have never been known for their award-worthy performances, but the people in this movie aren't even trying. There is a scene where a drive-by shooting occurs at a basketball court and the kids playing can't be bothered to panic. When the bullets fly, they each calmly lie down on the ground. You want a powerful performance? Fast-forward to Dolemite's chauffeur Angela begging Lieutenant Blakely for help when Dolemite's kidnapped. Either she's having trouble reading a cue card or she's too stoned to remember her two measly lines of dialogue.
Then there's the fact that so little of this movie makes any real sense. Dolemite returns from his time in Africa with superpowers that he gains from something called Voodoo Juice. It gives him the power to shoot lightning, stop time, and pretty much anything else the plot calls for. And then there's Lieutenant Blakely (Jerry Jones, reprising his role). When we first see him, he's dressed as a homeless man and wandering through an alley. He finds another group of apparently homeless men, steals their radio, and opens fire on them when they attempt to get it back, killing one of them. Also, for the record, Blakely is a horrible shot. He goes throw more than a dozen rounds when he retaliates against these music-loving hobos and only hits someone once (though it is a kill-shot). While I'm on the subject, Moore, Jones, and Jimmy Lynch are too old for action at this point
both the violent and "gettin' freaky" varieties. There are points when THE DOLEMITE EXPLOSION feels like an amateur porn without the porn, whether it be when Dolemite cartoonishly humps two random women through their pants on the side of the road (giving us a wide view of his 70-year-old butt) or when he's rocking the world of a masseuse with terrifying implant scars. These men are just too old to be bad. And they know it too, with obvious stunt doubles taking over in every fight scene when they're required to do more than throw a gut punch.
If there's one thing Moore and his crew have learned after 30 years of making films, it sure wasn't story structure. THE DOLEMITE EXPLOSION is just as discombobulated as any of his previous films. The movie's villain, Almo Green (Lynch) could have easily ended the movie in the first 30 minutes and spared us a lot of pain if he had just killed Dolemite when he was presented with 100 chances to do just that. Instead the movie plows on and we arrive at the big confrontation 50 minutes in: a big street fight overseen by an MC who doesn't appear to be talking to anyone in particular via a microphone that doesn't appear to be plugged into anything. You'd think that would be the big finale, but no. There's still 20 more minutes of nonsense to go. And there is no closure whatsoever
the movie builds up to some weird battle in the park where Moore busts out with his trademark "martial arts" against some man named Black Chin Ho before cutting to the credits mid-scream. Maybe Moore should've kept this movie as a personal item to share amongst friends rather than share it with the public because now the Dolemite saga ends with a shoddy, amateur home movie. As much as I'm sure it doesn't sound like it, I mean it with the utmost respect to Moore's legacy. Regardless of THE DOLEMITE EXPLOSION, Rudy Ray Moore was a legend. R.I.P. Dolemite.