Da 5 Bloods (2020) - USA (Netflix)
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
It is almost impossible to view Netflix’s blockbuster about black movement and Vietnam War veterans without looking at the social and political context at the time and right now. “Da 5 Bloods” directed by Spike Lee manages to entertain and speak to the audience about his various strong messages about violence, war, Trump and Black Live Matters all wrapped within the an action adventure thriller. There is a lot to enjoy about this film, namely the quirky dialogue, Vietnam context and American involvements all in good nature when you throw in the French and brotherhood and gold. Money and gold changes people as they say and this film shows you that at point blank range and adds a lot more substance as we gear up for the grand action packed finale.
Delroy Lindo produces one of his best performance in recent years as a Vietnam veteran suffering from post-trauma disorder. Lindo symbolise the “Trump” supporters as he wear the “election” cap, becomes rather ironic just as the President was never there in the first place, then and now. Clarke Peters shines through as the most level handed of the pack of brothers in face of adversity, atrocities and robberies. The ensemble cast of veteran Norm Lewis, Jonathan Majors and Isiah Whitlock J all provides good presence and character to their roles. Mélanie Thierry is excellent as expat charity leader with a good heart. Meanwhile, Jean Reno makes his cameo as effective as a true disgusting villain.
All in all, “Da 5 Blood” is thoroughly entertaining and the humour rhymes well with the upholding chemistry between the ensemble of blood brothers on their last hurrah. It’s a fun film to watch and with the added bonus of Spike Lee’s political viewpoints, the audience is left with a surreal portrayal of Vietnam and modern America today and tomorrow. As Martin Luther King would say - The time is always right to do what is right.
I rated it 7.5/10