Black Belt Jones is a must-see blaxploitation martial arts movie, directed by Robert Clouse (Enter The Dragon). The legendary Jim Kelly plays a martial artist who solves all his problems by kicking ass, and in this film he uses his kung-fu to protect the world from street punks AND to help a hot chick (Gloria Hendry, the first romantically involved African-American Bond girl – Live and Let Die) who wants revenge on the mafia. You see, the bastards killed her father and she has a piece of property the Don wants. That’s really the whole plot. But in a cool action film like this, that’s all you need to have a shitload of fun. The film believes political correctness is wrong and, in case you’re wondering, yeah that’s a good thing! So just kick back, grab a beer and enjoy the sight of polyester suits and afros.
There are always some people who take things too seriously – even cheesy films like this. Much like the people who believe that Donald Duck has a negative effect on children because he doesn’t wear pants. But if you try any of that political correctness crap with this film, or the entire blaxploitation genre for that matter, you will misunderstand the whole darn thing. However, if you have a sense of humor and enjoy cult films, chances are you’ll have a blast with it. Sure, sometimes political correctness is fine too; It reminds us that (most) people should be treated with dignity and respect. But every once in awhile, the audience just want to see their hero kick the living shit out of the bad guys and not just try to talk sense into them or figure out a clever plan to trick them. Jim Kelly’s acting is so-so and he didn’t have the appeal that many of the other blaxploitation stars had, but he’s surprisingly charismatic here. Gloria Hendry is awesome. There’s a scene where Jim tells her to: “Do those dishes!” She then pulls out a gun, shoots them and says “They’re done”. What a woman!
Release year: 1974
Director: Robert Clouse