Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods ★★★★

in Dave Chappelle's new special which i highly, highly recommend, he does a great segment on the inherent contradiction in the government's use of black military service and their treatment afterward.

"We've been dying for this country from the very get, hoping one day they'd give us our rightful place. All they give us is a foot up our black asses. Well fuck that! I say the US of A owe us. We built this bitch!"

Da 5 Bloods zeroes in on this conflict thoroughly with a crew of Vietnam War vets returning to the country where they buried a chest of gold during the war. plotwise, it honestly reminded me of Three Kings, also a very good movie. but this one is even more thickly layered with complicity in American warmongering and Western colonialism in general. it's also fittingly stacked, often ironically but sometimes not, with Apocalypse Now and Platoon and Western Vietnam War pop culture throughout.

Delroy Lindo gives an absolute powerhouse performance and manages to play a MAGA supporter who is somehow easy to empathize with, but the entire cast is phenomenal. Jonathan Majors is compelling despite an unfortunately shoehorned romantic angle for him and The Wire fans will get a particular kick from legend Clarke Peters and Isiah Whitlock's interactions.

this was much more violent than i expected, surely Spike's most brutal movie unless i'm missing something, with several surprising deaths over its runtime and several lengthy action pieces. this is also a dense, dense movie thematically, criticizing domestic politics and international relations and even the feasibility of global cooperation before circling back around to a more optimistic ending. i could easily see this growing on me on rewatches when i can better track the themes. even for Spike this is an ambitious film which is only a good thing.

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