Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods ★★★★½

(Netflix)

Spike Lee follows up his masterful Blackkklansman with another timely and relevant piece of important cinema. While not quite as emotionally hard hitting as his previous film, there is a lot to take in here with Da 5 Bloods. On the surface it's a very entertaining tale about a group of ex Vietnam veterans returning to Vietnam is search of lost gold as tensions rise between them. Digging deeper it's a harrowing depiction of the role of black people in the Vietnam war and how nothing has really changed in attitudes towards them in decades. Frequently intercut with the current day story of these soldiers is use of historical footage and grainy flashback scenes that carry a very distinctive and '70s style aesthetic that keeps things gritty and realistic. The entire cast are on fire with Delroy Lindo being the standout of these fully formed and compelling characters. While the first half is a slow burn, I did not expect how action heavy the final stretch would be and it was filled with shocking and devestating moments. This is probably the first film of 2020 that is worthy of being an Oscar contender and it couldn't have come at a more effective time. A politically charged near masterpiece that pushes the Black Lives Matter movement in a very engrossing and powerful way while looking at a different side of the Vietnam War that is shamefully overlooked.

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