Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods ★★★★½

Da 5 Bloods completely knocked me on my ass.

It's a blistering and riotous old-fashioned war epic whose heart bleeds for the black soldiers that served in Vietnam. A mammoth 2 hour and 35 minute is no skin off this movie's back since Spike Lee manages a delicate balance between hot-blooded melodrama and more conventional action/thriller elements. It's simply too well-constructed with it's bevy of set-ups and payoffs to ever be even close to dull or feel like it's dragging it's feet in the mud. I only knew Delroy Lindo as the dad from Romeo Must Die but he completely disappears into his role as a damaged 'Nam vet suffering from MULTIPLE traumas and it really is impossible to take your eyes off him. He reaches so many emotional depths and Lee smartly allows the camera to linger on his sweat-drenched, trauma torn face in the back-half of the story.

Da 5 Bloods is so deliciously hand-crafted, it's a story told and brought-to-life by passionate people who wanted to tell it. It's a tapestry of so many different tones (it veers from buddy comedy, to war fallout examination, and bloody action thriller) but the narrative focus on spilt black blood remains true and that's what makes it gripping to the very end. I'm actually afraid to go back and watch the rest of Lee's filmography out of fear of disappointment because this entry is so damn good.

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