Da 5 Bloods ★★★★½

Da 5 Bloods is a superbly tense, unpredictable and richly thematic film that is a deft balance between action adventure and sociopolitical drama. It explores very heady themes in ways deserving of their seriousness. In terms of the messages conveyed, it might be one of Spike Lee's most complex and difficult film yet. There is no easy answer to any of the pain presented and Lee makes no mistake in pretending that he has one, but he understands the nuances of the issues ranging from the never ending psychological trauma of black Vietnam war veterans to the warped mind of an angry and fed up black man who believes in Trump's vision for America.

In the end, Lee's film is flawed as even some of his best are. There are times where it feels overly didactic and exposition laden in terms of dialogue that at times feels stilted in the first hour of the film (although some of that is forgiven when you reach the ending and realise that was foreshadowing for a particularly powerful scene close to the climax).

It it is angry, essential and richly rewarding. It might be one of his most fascinating and most worthy of discussion even if not one of his very best in my opinion. It also boasts Delroy Lindo's incredible career best. What a heartfelt turn as a bastard you can completely understand. His character's villainy is the product of war. The war in Vietnam, and the war that the black American faces internally and externally. Yesterday and today.

*RIP to the black men that died in Vietnam who made up 14.1% of the total death toll despite being 11.0% of the male population in the United States at the time.*

Andy liked this review