From Academy Award® Winner Spike Lee comes a new joint: the story of four African American Vets – Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) – who return to Vietnam. Searching for the remains of their fallen Squad Leader (Chadwick Boseman) and the promise of buried treasure, our heroes, joined by Paul’s concerned son (Jonathan Majors), battle forces of Man and Nature – while confronted by the lasting ravages of The Immorality of The Vietnam War.Written by Netflix
Academy Award winning director Spike Lee (Blackkklansman) is known for his signature style and swinging for the fences when he’s at the helm of a film. His latest Netflix release, DA 5 Bloods, is no different and will surely be one to remember. It centers around a group of five life-long friends who engaged in battle together in the Vietnam War, bringing them back again during present day for one last adventure which will change their lives. It’s a strong, sad, and emotional story that will lift you up, but also bring you down in the best of entertaining ways.
What stands out the most in the film is the relationship between the main leads. Their chemistry on screen felt genuine and true. I was immediately able to latch onto the characters, because they reminded me of the strong love and bonds I have with friends in my own personal life. Some of the roles stood out more than others, but the performance from character Paul (Delroy Lindo) was nothing short of amazing! If you don’t know who this actor is you definitely will after seeing this film. It goes without saying that this is an Oscar worthy performance. It was simply breathtaking. When he delivered his lines they were not only convincing, but you could also feel the of weight of each word through his expression. However, while his character may not be your favorite, you will beyond a shadow of a doubt feel his pain.
The song choice is something to be acknowledged too. Lee was able to capture the perfect mood to depict the horrific nature of war, but still wrap it around an enthusiastic roust of brotherhood and comradery that’s difficult to not get excited about. The film also has a great sense of adventure and action. I found the first-person shooter aspect of the film during certain fire fights to be riveting. The way the editing switched back and forth through multiple shoots left me smiling, cheering from my couch, and wanting more. Another standout was that all of the actors played themselves not only in the current time, but in the flashback scenes as well. It was a great representation of how each soldier realized the past from many years ago. It spoke volumes for storytelling purposes.
While this is still a great entry for the seasoned director, this isn’t his best. The runtime was dauntingly long; and while I do enjoy my Black history, it seems forced and unnatural through the dialogue at times. There were also some characters that perished unnecessarily. It didn’t add anything to the film, and it left you frustrated and wondering why it happened. Yet it is still an interesting film that reflects today’s society in ways that only someone like Spike Lee would be able to capture.