Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods ★★★★

Four African Americans embark many years later on a return for buried gold and the remains of a fallen comrade during Vietnam and must confront their PSTD.

Kinda wishing I saw this one on the big screen because it's an epic, powerful movie. It's like what The Irishman wanted to be with a longer runtime, but this one actually deserves it (it's about an hour shorter than The Irishman, at 156 minutes). Sort of shades of The Deer Hunter and Platoon, but an otherwise fresh story with the Vietnam war as a backdrop. Strong, character-driven tale which deals with multiple complex topics.

There are many powerful scenes, but one of my favorite is when the men are on a boat and a Vietnamese vendor travels by in another boat and tries to get one to buy a chicken. The confrontation starts out innocent enough with a simple "no, thank you" but descends into severe tensions and drama. Another great scene involves stepping on a land mine.

For those like me who have difficulty watching military films, this is one of the best ones I've seen that somehow finds just the right amount of balance of present day flashback on the war vs. story told during the war. The main story is told in present and the flashbacks are necessary and important to moving the story forward. My only criticisms would be I wish there would have been a rousing orchestra score in some sections to make this a really, truly sweeping epic. Instead, Lee skips that pretense and goes for the raw sound of the jungle which isn't bad, just doesn't expand the scope of the picture. Recommended. Very.

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Todd Russell liked this review