Ragnar’s review published on Letterboxd:
Grade: GREAT (4 out of 5)
Spike Lee picks up where he left off in 2018's BlacKkKlansman, this time Lee takes his viewers to Vietnam. Da 5 Bloods is an ambitious story that spans decades and is focused on not only calling out historical injustices but also helping its complex characters find peace with the past.
Spike Lee is not a war movie director. Lee's strength is the discourse between his characters, while engaging action mostly eludes him. Da 5 Bloods perfectly captures that strength and that weakness. To put it bluntly, the war scenes come off as silly. The good news is that Da 5 Bloods is not a war film nor is it an action film, rather the film uses the Vietnam war as a vehicle to tell its tale of a brotherhood struggles to remain strong as the world changes with or without them.
Spike Lee has a lot to say, and he uses his various characters to sound off. Da 5 Bloods has its share of monologues, and even though some of them are unnaturally executed, overall they are engaging and educational. Fortunately, Da 5 Bloods never veers far from Spike Lee's strength: interesting characters engaging in powerful discourse that build up toward very emotional moments.