George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
2020 Releases Ranked-HERE
Da 5 Bloods is a 2020 war drama directed and co-wrote by Spike Lee and staring Chadwick Boseman, Norm Lewis, Delroy Lindo, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Jonathan Majors and Clarke Peters along with many more. Da 5 Bloods currently has a certified fresh score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes as well as one of the best movie posters I've ever seen.
Four Vietnam veterans, along with one of there sons, return to Vietnam in search of the remains of their former leader and the possibility of buried treasure. Da 5 Bloods shows the battle against humanity they face whilst also having to come to terms with the destruction and immorality of the Vietnam War. However with a run time of 155 minutes does the film feel too long?
For me definitely not, Da 5 Bloods earns its run time through heartfelt storytelling filled with soul and impresses its audience with just how engaged you become. The trailers for Da 5 Bloods looked incredible with the song "Time Has Come Today" playing in the background being one of the best pieces of music they could have used for a film like this and instantly made this one of my most anticipated, especially as Spike Lee is directing.
Da 5 Bloods feels incredibly relevant to society right now by providing some powerful imagery and an immersive story that draws you further into the movie the more you watch. At the start of the film we are treated to archive footage of black history in the United States and with the BLM movement that's happening in the world right now, this couldn't have come at a better time. This archive footage works exceptionally well and gets you invested in the movie straight from the first word and as the film goes on the history and information that's said adds more emotion to the film and only enhanced my experience with it personally. Da 5 Bloods is filled with enjoyable moments along with many emotional ones and both work incredibly well. Delroy Lindo puts in one of the best performances of the year and is phenomenal throughout along with Clarke Peters also being fantastic. Alongside them two, the rest of the cast also do a great job at portraying there characters.
Da 5 Bloods is shot in the aspect ratio of 2.39:1 for the modern day scenes and 4:3 aspect ratio for the flashback Vietnam War scenes and this is brilliant. The flashback scenes are very reminiscent of Apocalypse Now, which Spike Lee was more than likely going for, and only improves the audiences experience with it more. Spike Lee has yet again directed a fantastic movie that is undoubtedly one of the best movies this year.
My only complaints about the film is that I wish we got to see more of Chadwick Boseman's character, the scenes with him in are fantastic yet I still wanted more and more every time but that's just a personal complaint because I would choose to see him in nearly anything. The score could have also been a bit better when compared to other great movies and there was some moments that I really didn't want to happen but did, that didn't take anything away from the movie, I just really hoped the final act went in a different direction but ultimately the conclusion was still great yet sad at the same time.
So far the movies Netflix has released in 2020 have been lacklustre at best with the only notable exceptions being Extraction which was great in my opinion, Uncooked which was a complete surprise and The Lovebirds which was good enough, but for me Da 5 Bloods is the best thing they have released this year. The sad truth this film highlights is that for many people who have been to war, the war never stops and this provides for many gut ranching moments.
With excellent cinematography, a brilliant cast, and filled with incredible moments, Da 5 Bloods is not only the best Netflix film so far this year but it's one of the best films released in 2020 to date. I loved this movie more than I was expecting to. Delroy Lindo sir, you deserve an Oscar nomination for your incredible performance.
Stay tuned tomorrow for my review of THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND. (Review now linked)