Four Vietnam War veterans return to Vietnam to find their fallen
Squad Leader's remains and the fortune in gold they buried with him.
Da 5 Bloods (2020)
Directed by Spike Lee
Written by Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
Starring Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Mélanie Thierry, Paul Walter Hauser, Jasper Pääkkönen, Johnny Nguyen, Y. Lan, Jean Reno, Chadwick Boseman
Oscar Nominations - Best Original Score (Terence Blanchard)
Leave it to Spike Lee to release a film that fully encapsulates the current tone of American society. A film about black soldiers fighting a war for a country that never once fought for them. A film about facing your sins and burying the past. Spike has never been one to shy away from controversy, as I recently pointed out in my review of Malcolm X, but in Da 5 Bloods, he uses the Vietnam War as a metaphor for the Black Lives Matter movement at a time when a lot of people are looking for guidance. Thank God for Netflix, among other things.
The eponymous five Bloods are a squad of black soldiers led by Stormin' Norman (Boseman), who died in the war and was buried in the jungle by his soldiers. They also buried a chest full of gold that was on its way to the South Vietnamese soldiers, but was commandeered by the Bloods with the hopes of going back later to find it. Now, with the four surviving Bloods in their twilight years, they return to Nam to find Norman and the gold, and bring them both back. The first thing I have to point out is the career-defining and brutally human performance from Delroy Lindo, a Spike Lee frequent flier. Lindo plays Paul, the most unstable and haunted member of the group who flies off the handle about halfway through the movie. It's a performance for the ages, and if things in the film industry were normal, I'd say he had a good chance at nabbing a Best Actor statue for his work.
Da 5 Bloods is an engaging, highly thought-provoking war epic that is definitely one of Spike Lee's best films. It's the perfect mixture of style, substance, and politics that Spike is known for, and it is the film that America needs right now. It celebrates the black soldiers of Vietnam and condemns the inherent racism behind not just that war, but every war in America.