Da 5 Bloods (2020)


“Damn Otis just put the gold on Craigslist! ” – Melvin

Number of Times Seen – 1 (14 Jun 2020)

Brief Synopsis – Four Vietnam Veterans return to Vietnam 50 years after the war in order to recover the remains of their friend and commander.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve been interested in seeing ever since I first heard about it a few months ago.

The premise is a great one and the blended genre used here have so much potential yet it is all squandered by the way that Director Spike Lee presents things in a very angry and uneven fashion throughout.

The film sports a great and talented cast with Delroy Lindo doesn’t a superb job in the lead role.

He is able to truly show his vulnerability here and this makes his character so much more powerful to watch.

The film’s run time is far too long and there are a few scenes that could have been edited more closely and would have made things feel more focused.

Parts of this film come across as being too predictable and there are events that one can easily guess as to what will happen because there are few surprises along the way.

This lessens the suspense and tension in the story which is a shame.

The film makes a very strange choice in using the same actors for the scenes taking place in the present and those that take place 5 decades earlier and it makes t so much harder to take these scenes seriously because they seem more comical than informative.

This is a story that would have probably worked so much better without the obvious politicizing by Lee but that is what one should expect from his films and that isn’t really much of a surprise.

I would actually be interested in reading the original script of this film (see Trivia section below) before Lee’s major overhaul in order to see if things might have worked better in the original stage.

Bottom Line – Story that has so much potential but is wasted by Lee’s presentation of things in an angry and uneven fashion. The cast is great and Lindo does a great job in the lead role and allows us to see his character’s vulnerabilities.  The runtime is a bit too long and certain aspects of the plot feel as if they are dragged out which hurts things far too much.  There are parts of this story which come across as being slightly too predictable and that takes away from things because the suspense level is lessened by it.  The choice to use the same actors for the scenes in the present and in the past makes the parts from the past feel a bit cheaper because it’s so much harder to take them seriously when presented this way.  The story would have been so much better without the politicizing throughout but that is the kind of thing one learns to expect from films by Lee.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film was originally titled The Last Tour, and it was written by Danny Bilson and Paul DeMeo; it was about four aging white vets who were heading back to Vietnam. Oliver Stone was attached to direct at one point but moved on. Producer Lloyd Levin read in an interview that Lee’s favorite film is The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and thought Lee would appreciate the similar elements in The Last Tour. Lee liked the premise, and he and his co-writer, Kevin Willmott, rewrote the script for to make it about black soldiers. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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4 thoughts on “Da 5 Bloods (2020)

  1. Kind of agree with you on this one. Got in a Twitter battle over Da Bloods with a guy who said it was the best film of the year (I’ve only seen) movies this year -and NO) and retweeted a bunch of BS that Delroy Lindo should be an Oscar nominee. I watched the film – kind of hated it (I might give it a 3 or 4 of 10). I’ma BIG Spike fan but agree with you that this one is a bust. The angles to politicize it in the way he did with Black Klansman just weren’t there. The latter was infiltrating the Klan, this one is a bunch of vets going back for a payday they left behind under the pretense of finding the body of one of their comrades (who ties directly to another character for reasons which were telegraphed way in advance by the ludicrous psychological problems he had the second the arrived back in Viet Nam. Agree with the dumbbell idea of the OLDER actors playing themselves in the flashback scenes with the younger actor playing the platoon leader they left behind. Nonsensical. And the music – which I liked – never stopped. It was a distraction. If I’m watching a battle scene (only decently done by Lee)and hearing the music – something’s way wrong. There should’ve been NO music during the gun battles. As for any similarity to “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (and I know Lloyd Levin – his boss at the time was a attached to produce a screenplay I wrote, but the film was never made) – there is none. It’s insulting. If I were Anjelica Huston (or Danny or Jack) I’d sue for slander. As for Delroy Lindo (who I also like) – maybe it was the role as written and as he was directed to play it – but I found it overwrought and he chewed enough scenery to put 3 set decorators out of business. the movie’s too long by 30 minutes or more. I guess when youhave 5 minute long handshake scenes and Lindo freaking out on a boat in the canal for 10 minutes saying the same thing over and over again while the Vietnamese kid curses him out 20X with the same word -that would account for it. A big disappointment. Da 5 Bloods is Da Worst.

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  2. I agree with your view Rob. I think that Da 5 Bloods is a major missed opportunity. Unfortunately I found the film pretentious with only the score and the photography to recommend. I am reading many reviews that speak highly of this film; I wanted to like it but I cannot see the merit in it that a number of other critics/ viewers are recording.

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