Whenever “A Spike Lee Joint” pops up on the screen, you know you’re in for some great cinema, whether it’s Malcolm X, Blackkklansman or NBA 2K16’s Story Mode, Livin’ Da Dream (for those video game fans out there). However, this time it was extra poignant. Da 5 Bloods was released at a time in which the Black Lives Matter movement is recieving the support and attention it rightfully deserves, and this film shines a spotlight on the mistreatment of Black American soldiers during the Vietman war, and the complexities of masculine friendship.
The directorial choice to not use younger actors or overbearing de-aging CGI for the flashback scenes is a powerful and clever one that pays off and adds to the immersion of the film.
There are some incredibly graphic scenes and snap-shots, that may dissuade some viewers, however it is a film about the horrors of war, so some would argue that not showing these images would soften the blows of just how brutal Vietnam was, for the soldiers and the countless Vietnamese civilians, who were severely affected by the war.
The film touches on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and alongside its reliance on the often over-used flashbacks and bad dreams, the film utilizes an interesting breaking of the fourth-wall to show a character losing his grip on reality, which was refreshing to see.
There was not a single weak link in the cast – Da 5 Bloods showcases phenomenal performances from the entire ensemble; particularly Delroy Lindo (The Good Fight), Jonathan Majors (White Boy Rick), and Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), with oscar buzz already generating for Lindo’s heart-wrenching performance.
If You Liked This Film, You Might Like: The Last Full Measure (2019), Buffalo Soldiers (1997)
Joe Blogs Film Rating: 4/5