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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Four Vietnam vets (Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr.) return to Vietnam with a twofold purpose. First, to locate the remains of their fallen squad leader (Chadwick Boseman) and second, to retrieve more than a million dollars worth of gold bars they buried there. Co-written (along with three other writers) and directed by Spike Lee. If I have any complaints about the film, it's the length (it runs over 2 1/2 hours). Lee is taking two different films and then coheres the two. One film is about the black experience in Vietnam and the second is an old fashioned action/adventure movie. It doesn't take long before you figure out where the movie is going. Not if you've seen TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. One Vietnamese character even says, "We don't need to show you any stinking badges". APOCALYPSE NOW is also referenced. The ensemble cast is excellent with Lindo's batshit crazy, paranoid vet a standout. Lee gets some assistance from his cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel (THE USUAL SUSPECTS) whose lensing is first rate and uses several different aspect ratios (1.37, 1.85, 2.35) in the telling and also Terence Blanchard who delivers another awesome score. For the most part, I was riveted. With Jonathan Majors, Jean Reno, Melanie Thierry, Johnny Tri Nguyen and Le Y Lan.  

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