Da 5 Bloods Review: Its extended runtime may prove a bit of a drag in moments, but thanks to compelling themes, diverse characters and powerful performances from its ensemble cast, it … By Chris Agar Jun 13, 2020. It’s a bittersweet comedy involving a group of male friends looking back and growing old. You have to think long and hard to come up with a movie that focuses so intently on the aftermath of war on Black soldiers (“Mudbound” and “Dead Presidents” come to mind, but they also have other stories to tell.). So, there’s a nod to Walter Huston’s joyous gold discovery dance and Vietnamese bandits dare to paraphrase that line about not needing any stinkin’ badges. “You’re gonna have to kill me.” But also knowing their brothers and sisters are fighting for their justice, and that’s what this film is about— how we, as descendants of slaves, have fought for this country from day one. Running time: 2 hours 34 minutes. As expected, Lee gets excellent performances out of his cast straight down the line and is unafraid to coax out moments of love and affection to undercut the expected machismo of his Bloods. Da 5 Bloods Movie Review today! Découvrez la critique du film Da 5 Bloods : Frères de sang de Spike Lee - Cannes 2020 aurait dû marquer l'histoire, Spike Lee devenant le premier artiste noir à présider le jury. Several times, Lee will engage in these sorts of tangents, either with plot or real-life images and footage edited into the film. They refer to him as “our Malcolm and our Martin.” When the borders of the frame narrow and the color balance shifts to signify that we are back in the war, Norman is played by Chadwick Boseman, a casting choice that underlines the heroism of the character, who is stamped with the likeness of Jackie Robinson and T’Challa. Spike Lee Netflix! The truth of this observation is borne out in various ways, some of them bluntly literal. But this superb, haunting contraption belongs to Delroy Lindo, whose complicated work here almost rivals Denzel Washington’s turn in “Malcolm X.” Lee always knows how to play the actor’s size and toughness alongside, and against, his vulnerability, and Lindo has never been afraid to plumb the depths of raw, naked emotion that would terrify actors worried about what constitutes a manly image. And this scene is skillfully intercut with archival footage of many of those over 122 cities that were aflame— black folks enraged. This article will tackle the plot and all of its themes that are presented in this 2 hour and 35-minute film, analyzing its relevance in history — of American history, of global history, and of movie-making history. “They put our poor Black asses out here on the front line,” says Melvin, “killing us like flies.” With the occasional jump to graphic documentary footage, we’re also reminded that the Vietnam War was beamed into the homes of millions of Americans via the nightly news, forcing them to see the atrocities in such an effective way that later wartime presidents forced a moratorium on images of war, as if out of sight meant out of mind. Da 5 Bloods is not a catastrophe or embarrassment. “Da 5 Bloods” jumps back and forth, though not too many times, between the Bloods’ tours of duty and the present day. Spike Lee, Clarke Peters, Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors and Norm Lewis in Da 5 Bloods (photo courtesy of David Lee/Netflix) There’s something circular … This long, anguished, funny, violent excursion into a hidden chamber of the nation’s heart of darkness isn’t like anything else, even if it may put you in mind of a lot of other things. Lee uses them to highlight another commonality: their strenuous opposition to the Vietnam War. In country, again: from left, Jonathan Majors, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis and Delroy Lindo in Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods.”. Some of the faces and voices are familiar, and the lesson is clear. Spike Lee's 'Da 5 Bloods' won multiple acting honors, while Kelly Reichardt's 'First Cow' took home the top prize. North Vietnamese propagandists (like Hanoi Hannah, played by Veronica Ngo) didn’t hesitate to point this out. This is the opposite of a shortcoming. The men themselves initially seem to fit the usual types—there’s the joker, Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), the level-headed medic, Otis (Clarke Peters) and the one who achieved the most post-war success, Eddie (Norm Lewis). It’s no mistake that “Da 5 Bloods” ends with Langston Hughes’ words: "Da 5 Bloods" will be available on Netflix on Friday, 6/12. “That’s right, I voted for him,” Paul declares. Paul may be MAGA, and the red hat he wears in the jungle is an image ripe with shade (the hat went to Vietnam, its symbolic representation stayed home), but he is also the most complex character in “Da 5 Bloods,” a mix of rage, anger, and hurt exacerbated by the war and the guilt it seared into his soul. It’s a reminder that the college kids didn’t wind up in this location. They will be assisted, at least to the base of their jungle journey, by Vinh (Johnny Tri Nguyen), a trustworthy guide who provides context from his side of what he calls “The American War.”. Tien (Le Y Lan), Otis’s former lover, is part of the scheme, in association with an unsavory Frenchman in a white linen suit (Jean Reno). See the full list of winners here. “God, you a trickster!” yells Paul, evoking the fabled character of African myth. Into this expected heist movie scene, Lee introduces the topic of children who have been fathered by American G.I.’s during wars, with Peters and Lan playing the sequence in beautiful understatement before returning us back to the main story. Spike Lee’s new joint is an anguished, funny, violent argument with and about American history, with an unforgettable performance from Delroy Lindo at its heart. Steal from the best, as the adage goes, and “Treasure” is a vein worth mining. When you purchase a ticket for an independently reviewed film through our site, we earn an affiliate commission. The bloods believe that somewhere in country, along with Norman’s bones, lies a strongbox full of gold bars, the property of the U.S. government until Norman and his squad claimed them, either as the spoils of war or as reparations. To describe Paul as haunted would be less an understatement than a category mistake. It’s a platoon picture about a dangerous mission, a father-son melodrama, an adventure story, a caper and a political provocation. “Da 5 Bloods” also has its own Mister Senor Daddy Love, a disc jockey Greek chorus represented here by Hanoi Hannah (Van Veronica Ngo). The story, about the lethal consequences of a search for buried gold, is struck from the template of “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” A journey upriver from Ho Chi Minh City into the Vietnamese interior recalls “Apocalypse Now,” which the characters have all seen. After kicking off with archival footage of a suffering world during the … Da 5 BloodsRated R. Blood. Cinéma Par Remi Lou le 12 juin 2020 à 17h24. A deep thinker and a shrewd tactician, Norman has taken on almost mythical grandeur in his comrades’ memories. It’s also an argument with and through the history of film. These effects are realized in a fantastic monologue delivered mostly in close-up by Lindo. Spike Lee ’s excellent “Da 5 Bloods” opens with Muhammad Ali and closes with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., two legends who are inextricably tied to the Civil Rights movement and Black pride. And in between the music, they would start with propaganda. The first person that died for this country in a war— the American Revolutionary War— was a black man, Crispus Attucks at the Boston Massacre. “We need to kill some crackers.” I had four screenings of this film for black and Puerto Rican Vietnam vets that they were there. “I’m as mad as everybody. They’ve come back to a place that, as Vinh points out, they’ve figuratively never left. Lee has crafted an exciting, violent film that can be enjoyed as strictly that, but what elevates it to greatness is what it says and what it shows about the perception of Blackness, whether in heroic situations or human ones. Tien is now a major financial broker who puts him in touch with a shady French businessman named Desroche (Jean Reno). NOW PLAYING: other Da 5 Bloods: Video Review Common Sense Media. I use the word uprising. UP NEXT. Comment. A shot of him just shooting the shit with an Afro pick rising up from the back of his head carries enough unapologetic Blackness to power a nuclear reactor of revolution. Lee is one of the few directors who takes to heart Godard’s comment that “In order to criticize a movie, you have to make another movie.” There is critique here, especially of films like “The Green Berets,” “Rambo” and “Missing in Action,” with one character joking about how Hollywood went back to Vietnam to “try winning the war” on-screen. It’s not even Lee’s worst war movie. Lee uses them to highlight another commonality: their strenuous opposition to the Vietnam War. Instead of using digital de-aging or look-alike casting, Lee places Whitlock, Lindo, Peters and Lewis alongside Boseman in the flashback scenes, which creates a sense of the uncanny immediacy of memory. So you can make the case that we’ve been more patriotic than anybody. Running in parallel with these criticisms are blatant homages to other films, and not just war movies like “Apocalypse Now,” which gets a visual name-check as the main characters do a pseudo-Soul Train line boogie to Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up.” A big chunk of “Da 5 Bloods” pays tribute to John Huston’s masterful 1948 adaptation of B. Traven’s classic parable of greed, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.” Like that film, the plot involves a search for gold, though unlike Humphrey Bogart and John’s dad, Walter, the main characters here have a good idea where the treasure is. A little known story is that, when the bloods, the black soldiers in Vietnam heard that Dr. King had been assassinated, when they heard their brothers and sisters were burning down over 122 cities, they were very, you might say, hot. Da 5 Bloods Review: Spike Lee's Latest Is Another Winner for Netflix. The latter device is worked seamlessly into the narrative, sometimes to shocking and heartrending effect, and it often draws parallels, as Ali’s speech does in the first scene, between the poor Vietnamese citizens and the poor Blacks sent to fight them. Spike Lee’s excellent “Da 5 Bloods” opens with Muhammad Ali and closes with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., two legends who are inextricably tied to the Civil Rights movement and Black pride. As the women in this outfit, Lan and Thierry acquit themselves nicely with a toughness tempered with warmth. Beyond The Trailer reaction & movie review 2020! The loot has also already been turned into more palatable and recognizable gold bars. Da 5 Bloods est un film réalisé par Spike Lee avec Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors. There’s more. Delroy Lindo! That’s what this scene is about. His pain is the motor and the moral of the story. Lindo’s performance, though, is achingly specific, rigorously human scaled. Instead, though, it ends up becoming Lee’s Triple Frontier, another Netflix disappointment about veterans regrouping to get theirs, another waste of some great actors. Lindo’s scene isn’t a descent into madness; it’s an ascent towards self-realization filtered through angry howls of defiance. Part of the Big Red One (the Army’s First Infantry Division), the men have come to look for the remains of their squad leader, Stormin’ Norman, who was killed in a firefight. Lee, who wrote the script with Danny Bilson, Paul DeMeo and Kevin Willmott, doesn’t escape from the exoticism that has characterized most American movies about Vietnam, and he doesn’t pursue the connections between black-power politics and international anti-imperialism as far as he might have. ‘Da 5 Bloods’ – A Special Spoiler Review (With Analysis) June 13, 2020 June 17, ... Da 5 Bloods. 0. “He’s expensive,” she tells Otis before naming his price of 20% of the take. Read full review Newton Thomas Sigel’s cinematography is at times beautiful, sometimes putrid, as Lee plays with film textures and formats, but Adam Gough, fresh off of Roma (2018), seems to have had his work cut out for him in the editing department, with certain sections of Da 5 Bloods looking shoddy (particularly in some gun fight sequences). Watch on Netflix. Double crosses, red herrings, dead certainties and live land mines. In a perfect casting move, Stormin’ Norman is played by Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman. After playing real-life Black legends like James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and Jackie Robinson, not to mention the fictional king of Wakanda, Boseman doesn’t need to overplay his mythical status. (The hat is almost a character in its own right.) by Nathaniel R. The New York Film Critics Circle have spoken, delivering their verdict on the Best of 2020. Paul would rather do business with anyone else, but this is the hand they’re dealt, so the Bloods choose to play it. Da 5 Bloods: Video Review More From Common Sense Media UP NEXT. It doesn’t always hold together, but it never lets go. Yes, the tapestry portrays a simple scene, yet upon closer inspection, one realizes that its threads have been woven with complexity. “I see ghosts,” Paul says at one agonized point, and though the ghost he sees is Norman, the real specter in the room is the war itself. Chadwick Boseman! Stormin’ Norman also puts the trunk of gold bars they discover in a downed CIA plane into context—he sees it as much deserved reparations, a repurposing of funds that were originally slated for Vietnamese people who provided information to the U.S. That gold can’t leave Vietnam in its current condition, so outside forces are necessary to assist. Da 5 Bloods foregoes CGI de-aging (or the simple act of casting younger actors) in its flashbacks. I was 11 years old, and also the Vietnam War was the first war that was televised into American homes. Share Share Tweet Email. There’s a lot. This director knows the power of captivating an audience so he can goad them into sticking around for his message. And even today, we’re still being shot down, choked to death, and people are marching all over the world, seeing the gruesome 8 plus minutes of our king, king Floyd’s life. They were asked to kill and die in a morally dubious undertaking in the service of a country that refused to treat them as full citizens. Parents need to know that Da 5 Bloods is Spike Lee's first film made for Netflix. Jonathan Majors! But his strength as a political filmmaker has always resided in his ability to bring contradictions to chaotic life rather than to resolve them in any ideologically coherent proposition. Da 5 Bloods is proof the Vietnam War genre is still ripe for fascinating stories, thanks to great performances and Lee being at the top of his craft. The first words we hear are Ali’s famous explanation of why he refused to enlist. With Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis. ‘Da 5 Bloods’ on Netflix: Film Review Spike Lee explores the twin traumas of the war in Vietnam and racial injustice at home in an ambitious but uneven adventure movie committed to … He’s the reason to see it. ‘Da 5 Bloods’ Review: Coming Home to History Spike Lee’s latest follows a group of vets who return to Vietnam in search of a fallen comrade’s remains and treasure. Da 5 Bloods Critics Consensus Fierce energy and ambition course through Da 5 Bloods , coming together to fuel one of Spike Lee's most urgent and impactful films. Black Lives have to matter. Paul’s semi-estranged son, David (Jonathan Majors), joins the expedition, which crosses paths with a trio of international NGO workers (Mélanie Thierry, Paul Walter Hauser and Jasper Paakkonen). It haunts them forever. There’s also commentary on just how White these movies were, with people like Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone achieving mythic glory while blithely erasing the fact that 32% of the soldiers in the jungle were Black. David wears a Morehouse shirt throughout his jungle trek and it’s more than just a shout-out to the director’s alma mater. All said and done, Da 5 Bloods is a Spike Lee joint that’s high on history and hysteria. Directed by Spike Lee. Everyone knows what Spike Lee thinks of the current president, but everyone should also remember that Lee often shows an almost affectionate interest in characters whose views he finds abhorrent. In its anger, its humor and its exuberance — in the emotional richness of the central performances and of Terence Blanchard’s score — this is unmistakably a Spike Lee Joint. It seems safe to say that America itself has never been an ideologically coherent proposition, and its greatest artists embrace havoc as a kind of birthright, producing not analyses of chaos but indelible embodiments of it. And so this scene is when our five bloods are told over the radio two days after the fact that Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. I’m tempted to say that with “Da 5 Bloods,” which debuts on Netflix on Friday, Lee has done it again. Each one of them confirmed this happened. In those flashbacks, all four older actors play themselves without benefit of the de-aging CGI that plagued “The Irishman.” At first, it’s rather jarring, but I bought into the visual of these characters stepping through the looking glass armed with the knowledge their younger incarnations did not have. The storm of rage, guilt, resentment and self-pity that surges through Paul is traced to various sources, small tragedies that illuminate larger catastrophes. Odie "Odienator" Henderson has spent over 33 years working in Information Technology. “Be safe.” There almost was a civil war in Vietnam, where black soldiers were getting ready to take up arms, and they would not be shooting at the Viet Cong. Spike Lee’s career can be described as a lover’s quarrel with American movies — and with America, too. Which brings me to Lindo. For Ali, the objection cost him several productive years of his career and his heavyweight title; for Dr. King, this … In the end, Da 5 Bloods feels like a clumsy hybrid of two fine impulses — to make a heist movie set in Vietnam, and to make a statement about race in 2020. The only films which scored multiple awards were Da 5 Bloods and Never Rarely Sometimes Always.But the top prize went to First Cow (which is the only prize it won).This year featured the most female directors they've ever honored simultaneously with female-helmed films winning Best … Accueil » Critiques » [Critique] Da 5 Bloods, le nouveau film de Spike Lee sur Netflix. Thank god it didn’t. The gold itself is just as big a MacGuffin, except here it’s also a deus ex machina of sorts, pulling out of the ether a note of hopeful uplift that ties the fictional story to a much-desired, reality-based outcome that’s almost too good to believe but wonderful to behold. Découvrez les 16 critiques de journaux et des revues spécialisées pour le film Da 5 Bloods réalisé par Spike Lee avec Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis. Alas, each intention doesn’t serve the other, and so both go unrealized. While the heart of the story takes place in current day, flashbacks, historical documents, newsreel footage, and photographs augment Lee's powerful exploration of war and race over half a century. (It’s a long list that encompasses John Turturro’s Pino in “Do the Right Thing” and the snarling white supremacist played by Paakkonen in “BlacKkKlansman.”) And Lee doesn’t treat Paul as a misguided reactionary. As he has demonstrated his mastery of established genres (the biopic, the musical, the cop movie, the combat picture, and so on), he has also reinvented them, pointing out blind spots and filling in gaps. “Da 5 Bloods” is full of wonderful performances, and the warm, profane masculine banter among the bloods is a response to and a relief from the horror they have shared and still face. (Oddly enough, Lee’s penchant for wonderfully crazy monikers for his characters is relegated to Reno’s; French speakers will benefit from a great visual play on “Desroche” later in the film.) “Da 5 Bloods” is a lesser Lee movie — honestly, it’s a mess — whose characterizations of Vietnamese people are inextricable from its political failures. First doses of … Read his answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here. Blanchard’s score is bombastic, terrifying and militaristic one minute, achingly beautiful the next. He runs the blogs Big Media Vandalism and Tales of Odienary Madness. His attempts to expand the frame and correct the record have changed the course of the cultural mainstream. Plus: A film reflecting on the legacy of … The last words we hear are from a speech King gave on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his murder, where he quotes poet Langston Hughes’ “Let America Be America Again.”. This arc reaches its apex in a moment of cathartic exorcism that gives way to a moment of darkly comic punishment courtesy of a well-placed snare trap. As prologue to the main narrative, there is a churning, chronologically disordered montage of images from the ’60s and ’70s — news clips and photographs that illustrate the fateful convergence of military escalation in Southeast Asia and racial conflict in the United States. “He was like a religion to your father,” Otis tells his godson, David, who informs us that Paul’s PTSD has him calling out Norman’s name in his sleep. My name is Spike Lee, and I’m the director of “Da 5 Bloods.” “This is the voice of Vietnam.” That character you see is Hanoi Hannah, and that’s a real life character. There’s also Vinh (Johnny Tri Nguyen), the group’s Vietnamese guide, who reminds the visiting Americans that wars never really end. In lesser hands, the occasional messiness of the script by Lee, his fellow Oscar winning “BlacKkKlansman” scribe Kevin Wilmott, and Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo might result in a film weakened by its occasional predictability. Unfortunately, the answer is no. From every angle, the situation was a mess, a quagmire. There’s no question he wants Da 5 Bloods to be his Treasure of the Sierra Madre. We control our rage.” But it was about to— to be the jump off for those black soldiers. It’s a western, concerned with greed, honor, loyalty and revenge. Da 5 Bloods Movie Review: The Last Word. The fifth blood of the title is not Paul’s son, David (Jonathan Majors), who unexpectedly shows up to join his elders’ crew, but their fallen comrade and squad leader, Norman, whose body they have been authorized to exhume so as to not raise suspicions about their other intentions. Paul was with Stormin’ Norman when he died, and it’s easy to figure out what happened long before the truth is revealed. And even as it takes up unfinished real-world business at home and in Vietnam, “Da 5 Bloods” wrestles with some of the defining myths and motifs of American cinema. The living project their present selves back into the past, while the dead never grow old. Spike Lee narrates a sequence from his Netflix feature. “Stand down! As in films like “Inside Man” and “BlacKkKlansman,” Lee unabashedly quotes his influences—he knows that you know what he’s doing, and he milks that for as much mileage as he can. When we touch down in the present, we are in a Ho Chi Minh City hotel where the four surviving bloods — Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), Eddie (Norm Lewis), Otis (Clarke Peters) and Paul (Delroy Lindo) — have gathered for what looks like an old-timers’ reunion tour. Rounding out the quartet is the forceful, hot-headed leader, Paul, played by Delroy Lindo in one of the best performances to come out of a Spike Lee joint. He’s anti-immigrant and, in what is no doubt a troll on the director’s part, Paul voted for the man an on-screen caption refers to as “President Fake Bone Spurs.” Paul even says “there were atrocities on both sides!” As far as trolling goes, however, Lee is playing the long game here. “Second Unit is a Very Broad Label”: DP Newton Thomas Sigel on Da 5 Bloods | Filmmaker Magazine filmmakermagazine.com - Matt Mulcahey. ‘Da 5 Bloods’ Review: Black Lives Mattered in Vietnam, Too. There is plenty of action, both in wartime and during the present day, which keeps the movie moving through its 157-minute runtime. Again, Lee takes a cue from “Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” but while Huston had Bogie wandering the mountains muttering to himself while in the thrall of paranoia driven by greed, Lee has Paul rant at the United States government while looking at the viewer. Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods kicks off a major summer for black cinema: Review Spike Lee's latest is one of his best. Furious debates about ends and means, money and morality, capitalism and imperialism. 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. In addition to the verbal commentary about present events vs. past ones, Lee also employs some sly visual representations of his points. Lee also works in ties between the French, who tried their hand at Vietnam, and the Americans, who, to quote Otis, “tried to feed us that anti-Commie Kool-Aid.” “Uncle Sam did no better in Vietnam than the French did,” Desroche tells Paul after the latter goes off on him regarding French weakness. So, on the surface, we have the story of four Vietnam vets who have returned to the country that bonded them in battle to claim a treasure they buried several decades ago. ‘Da 5 Bloods’ Review: Black Lives Mattered in Vietnam, Too Spike Lee’s new joint is an anguished, funny, violent argument with and about American history, with an … Between these two bookends is a heist movie of sorts, albeit one with far more on its mind than its plot details would suggest. Paul hates the French, the Vietnamese, hell, everybody practically. Soon, they will also encounter other French people, including Hedy Bouvier (Mélanie Thierry) an heiress turned landmine expert whom David becomes sweet on, and her colleagues Simon (Paul Walter Hauser) and Seppo (Jasper Pääkkönen), all of whom will become involved once the violent, action movie elements of the film come into play.