Director: Spike Lee
Genre: Adventure, Drama, War
Runtime: 154 Minutes
Main Cast: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Melanie Thierry, Johnny Tri Nguyen, Le Y Lan, Chadwick Boseman
Plot: Paul, Otis, Eddie and Melvin are all African American veterans returning to Vietnam to find the remains of their fallen brother and reclaim some buried treasure. Along the way, the 4 men are troubled by their pasts and their mission becomes more and more deadly with every step.
My Thoughts: I saw a lot of hype over Da 5 Bloods on Twitter and so I was desperate to see it for myself. I had no idea it was a Netflix original until I went onto the app to binge more terrible TV, so I was delighted to have something better to watch! I’m shamefully not well versed in Spike Lee’s movies but I really enjoyed BlacKkKlansman (2018) so I had high hopes for this. I think it’s the kind of movie where every viewer will have a different experience but for me, this was a slow burner that lagged to begin with but more than paid off in the end.
Movies like this depend strongly on their leading characters. If we can’t connect with them, if we can’t feel strong feelings for them, the movie is doomed. I adored these guys though. They fought in a war that wasn’t theirs, and they wear the scars from their struggles. I wanted every one of them to succeed.
The moment the movie went from ‘alright, pretty good’ to ‘holy crap this is great’ for me was in the jungle, just after the treasure had been found. It was a wild ride from then on, with plenty of surprises along the way. The part with the landmines in particular – I would have LOVED to be in the cinema for that. Man, I miss the cinema…
Best Bit: When Delroy Lindo’s character Paul went off on his own – those scenes were absolutely fantastic. If Delroy isn’t in the running for an Oscar for this then we riot!
Worst Bit: As much as I enjoyed and appreciated the flashback scenes, not using any kind of anti-ageing technology really took me out of the moment. I’m guessing it was all down to budget in the end, but when Scorsese gets given goodness even knows how many millions to make The Irishman (2019), it feels unfair. But then, I kind of hated The Irishman, so.
Fun Trivia: The reason why the characters appear old during the war flashbacks is because it isn’t a flashback but instead it is the characters remembering the past, therefore they remember the past with their current age. It also symbolizes that in their mind, they are still in Vietnam and will continue to be in Vietnam, never fully being able to move on from that war.
(Okay, I found this trivia after I’d written the rest of my post. I stand corrected, this makes a lot of sense.)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 ‘Make America Great Again’ hats.