Spike Lee delivers an epic and riveting adventure with an effective thought-provoking punch, instantly making it one of the best films of his career.
‘Da 5 Bloods’ finds a group of Vietnam veterans, haunted by their past, searching for a missing treasure and the remains of an old friend.
There’s little doubt nowadays that Spike Lee is one of the best cinematic voices of modern film history, and yet, the freshness of ‘Da 5 Bloods’ still managed to surprise me in ways I wasn’t aware he was capable of. While I have enjoyed most of his filmography (aside from a few duds), he has never excelled, in my view, as strongly as he did with ‘Do The Right Thing,’ a film that effectively put him on the map. With this film, however, I think that not only has he finally outdone himself but considerably evolved as a filmmaker as well. Lee injects enough of his trademark style without ever draining down the film and knows exactly when to step back and let it breathe on its own, one of the few issues I had with ‘BlacKkKlansman’ but is handled beautifully here. From the cinematography to the music, every technical aspect is impeccable, which makes me wonder how the already fantastic experience could have been elevated by watching it in a movie theater.
Is it for everyone? No. Lee, right from the get-go, is not afraid to put his political and social views on display, and that might prove difficult for those fearful of having a tough conversation after watching it. Still, in my case, I found it captivating; Lee never injects an opinion without fully fleshing out his artistic intentions. Without giving anything away, Delroy Lindo’s character, Paul, is portrayed as a proud Trump supporter with a severe case of PTSD and is perhaps the most touching character arc in the entire film.
Speaking of Lindo, it’s the role of a lifetime that should earn him awards chatter. It’s a multi-layered character that progresses in such meaningful ways that it’s hard not to consider it an instantly iconic performance, one that also packs a critical character analysis of a Trump supporter. As for the other performances, there’s hardly any actor that doesn’t have their moment to shine, especially of the leading group, and it helps a lot once the climax comes to be wholly taken by all of them.
In conclusion, Spike Lee’s latest Joint is not perfect and might be a bit heavy handed for some, but for those willing to take the ride with him, it’s a moving and epic experience that is poised to become a classic and one of the year’s best films. Don’t miss it.