Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Title: Da 5 Blood

Year: 2020

Genre:  Adventure | Drama | War|

Runtime:  154 min

Director:  Spike Lee

Starring:  Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters

imdb 6,5/10

Four African American vets battle the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide.


Spike Lee has often been outspoken in the film community about race and the representation of black people in the entertainment industry. Starting with a collage of a long montage with archive footage, Mr. Lee sets the tone of the movie. We are also meeting a couple of men demonstrating some awful dialogue. And the fucking movie does not start until eleven and a half minutes in the film, which is far too long.  The prologue is supposed to make you as an audience connected and feel the story itself what it’s about, sort of an introduction. With an Apocalypse Now banner in the background, it is supposed to be Lee’s own imitation of Apocalypse Now. Spike Lee also trying to connect racism and Vietnam and post-traumatic stress disorder at the same time, and it does not work.

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The whole film is a retelling, cutting into some montage, some random photography’s that does not belong there.  Much more, Spike Lee tries to make two movies fit into one and fails.  The whole story follows a gang of ex-vets from Vietnam that supposed to have a meaning and the same time intercut it with their younger counterpart.  Spike Lee had some real issues when editing this film, trying to fix how the acts are all fitting together. Even with random lines from unknown actors, and some weird directions, the film is far too long to hold up. It also tries so many times to have jokes and to be funny when it’s not.

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Both The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now captured what Spike Lee tries to do, yet doesn’t. But Da 5 Bloods, that tries to be funny, racist, serious, and have drama at the same time fails. It fails. It does not have the war essence you can sense in other pictures. This is a full-blown mess and it outrageous.  Even with the archive-montage, the rest of the film doesn’t live up to that. Nothing will. The acting is cheap with all the jumping back and forth, it’s difficult to follow these characters in an engaging way.

It could be a fun film. An interesting film with a subject we’re too far familiar with but with a new perspective. Maybe we would need it but with this as a result, I’m not sure, we need this. It’s far too long, the dialogue is cheap, the actor’s performances are amateurish plus the writing and the direction of the film don’t deliver anything important either. It’s sad. Truly. Spike Lee has some good merits when it comes to making films but this war-mix up catastrophe where Lee struggles from the first image to the last – it’s not that good.

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