Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods | Official Trailer | Netflix https://youtu.be/D5RDTPfsLAI via @YouTube

From Academy Award® Winner Spike Lee comes a New Joint: the story of four African-American Vets — Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis), and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) — who return to Vietnam. Searching for the remains of their fallen Squad Leader (Chadwick Boseman) and the promise of buried treasure, our heroes, joined by Paul’s concerned son (Jonathan Majors), battle forces of Man and Nature — while confronted by the lasting ravages of The Immorality of The Vietnam War.

Da 5 Bloods by Spike Lee

In his own history, Lee has made several great films and others less great than they were meant to be without ever losing his bone-deep love for moving pictures. So it proves again. The biggest gamble comes with the flashbacks to war, scenes in which Norman is played by Boseman — 42 but looking younger — while the older cast remain, grey beards and all. The effect is jarring, then it clicks, brilliantly, illustrating how Norman never got to grow old while his soldiers did so shaped by his influence. And America? In the jungle, Norman thinks back to home, the menace of the police: “I can feel,” he sighs, “just how much I ain’t worth.” It is 1968. George Floyd would be born five years later. ★★★★★ On Netflix from Friday June 12 (From Danny Leigh in the Financial Times 10 June 2020)

‘Da 5 Bloods’

Rating: R, for strong violence, grisly images and pervasive language

Running time: 2 hours, 35 minutes

Playing: Available June 12 on Netfli

In perhaps Lee’s most radical touch — and also his most old-fashioned — he has Lindo, Peters, Whitlock and Lewis play those younger versions of themselves, without any attempts to de-age them in the manner of another recent Netflix production, Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” As Lee wryly noted in an interview with the New York Times’ Reggie Ugwu, it was a budgetary decision that turned out to have been the right one. In these actors’ weary faces, incongruously bridging the divide between past and present, we see the most literal possible visualization of a war without end.

Spike Lee is now 63 years young

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