Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods has become an electrifying summer movie during this quiet season. The film is already being hailed as one of the year’s best and another masterful work to add to Lee’s iconic filmography. Da 5 Bloods is also another example of Lee’s ability to mix heavy subject matter with humor.
The film tells the story of five Vietnam veterans who return to the country decades after the war to locate the remains of their fallen comrade as well as a cache of gold. The film plays with different tones expertly, delivering powerful moments of drama and relieving the tension with some solid laughs as well.
10 Powerful: Paul In The Jungle
The movie is a great ensemble piece, but Delroy Lindo delivers a commanding performance as Paul that gives so much power and intensity to the story. Near the end of the film, Paul abandons the rest of the group to go out into the jungle.
Speaking to himself (and directly into the camera), Paul delivers a powerful monologue that shows the frustration, rage, and pain this man has inside of him finally boiling to the top. Lindo sells the moment with his incredible performance.
9 Funny: Dance Club
The four friends at the center of the story meet up in Saigon and instantly begin to reconnect. Though the reason for them being there is heavy, the friends still know how to have fun together. And almost immediately, they take their party to a local dance club.
There is an extended shot of the friends dancing through the club and having a great time being a bunch of old party animals. It is so much fun seeing these old friends letting loose and owning the dance floor.
8 Powerful: The Assassination Of Martin Luther King Jr.
In telling this exciting treasure hunting story, Lee takes the opportunity to expose the role of Black American soldiers in Vietnam and their experiences, which have rarely been focused on in other war movies. It makes for a fascinating untold bit of history.
In one memorable scene, the soldiers listen as the North Vietnamese radio personality known as Hanoi Hannah relays the news of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.. The soldiers struggle with the idea of fighting in a senseless war while their brothers and sisters fight for survival back home.
7 Funny: Rambo
Though the film pulls a lot of inspiration from many acclaimed war movies like Apocalypse Now, it also takes the time to point out how flawed Hollywood’s depiction of the Vietnam War has been.
At one point, a characters brings up the Rambo movies as a particularly nonsensical version of the war that boils the conflict down to an action hero becoming a one-man army. The characters mock these movies as made by people who think America won the war.
6 Powerful: Landmine
After finding the gold in the jungle, the “Bloods” seem to have accomplished their mission and begins celebrating their new fortune. However, the celebration is cut short when Eddie is blown up from a landmine, and Paul’s son, David, steps on another.
Eddie’s death is gruesome and tragic enough, but then the scene becomes a tension-filled sequence where the others try to save David before he meets a similar fate. Paul uses the legacy of Olympian Edwin Moses to inspire his son to “fly” off that mine.
5 Funny: France Versus America
Though the Bloods have mapped out their plan of finding the gold, they also need a way of getting it out of Vietnam. For that, they turn to a French businessman named Desroche who agrees to help them for a substantial fee.
Paul is immediately distrusting of this man and the two butt heads. Paul tries to use the history of France in World War II to talk down to Desroche but the Frenchman replies that when it comes to the Vietnam War, the Americans didn’t do any better than the French.
4 Powerful: Paul Faces Norman
The memory of the Bloods’ leader Stormin’ Norman weighs heavily on all of them, but it seems to be Paul who is still the most shaken by his death in the war. The Bloods manage to locate his remains, but it does not bring Paul peace.
It is not until he is along in the jungle when he is met by a vision of Norman and we see in a flashback that Paul accidentally killed him in the heat of battle. Confronting the vision of Norman, Paul finally forgives himself for the mistake that has been haunting him all these years.
3 Funny: Otis Meets His Daughter
Otis is the member of the group who seems to have organized the entire plan. When he arrives in Vietnam, he meets with a Vietnamese woman he had an affair with during the war.
As the two catch up and discuss the plan, the woman’s daughter comes in and introduces herself to Otis. After she leaves, the wheels start turning in Otis’ head. Lee allows the scene to play out with a long silence as Otis tries to wrap his head around the situation but is unable to find the words.
2 Powerful: Final Montage
The end of the film sees most of the Bloods dead, but in their death, their motto “Bloods don’t die, we multiply” seems to come true. Though they didn’t live to spend their cut of the treasure, the final montage shows the good that money can do.
As Paul narrates his own redemptive letter to his son David, we see glimpses of the money being given to the Bloods’ families, landmine advocacy groups, and organizations like Black Lives Matter. In their death, they have helped give back to the next generation.
1 Funny: Negotiating
There is a running joke throughout the movie about how the treasure is going to be split among the members as more and more co-conspirators join the adventure. Late in the film, the remaining Bloods find themselves partnered with a trio of landmine activists.
After several members of the group are killed, the activists demand being cut in on the deal. Otis says they will get one million. Activist Simon immediately asks if it’s a million each and Isiah Whitlock Jr. gets to break out his famous catchphrase from The Wire.
NEXT: MBTI®: 5 Netflix Original Movies That INFPs Will Love (5 They Will Hate)
The Big Bang Theory: 5 Times Leonard Was An Overrated Character (& 5 He Was Underrated)
About The Author
A writer and film fan. I always enjoy keeping up with the latest films in theaters as well as discovering some hidden gems I may have overlooked. Glad to be a part of Screen Rant’s positive and fun community and have the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.
More About Colin McCormick