Da 5 Bloods: Worth the Watch?

Spike Lee’s new Netflix Original stirs both controversy and praise



Chandler Hoel, Staff Writer

     Da 5 Bloods is a Netflix original film directed by Spike Lee. This is an emotional and powerful story about four African-American veterans who return to Vietnam to find the remains of their fallen squad leader, as well as a trunk full of gold. The film was released earlier this summer during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd. This movie was beautifully shot and really captures the image of what it was like to live during and after such a grueling time. I would recommend this movie if you’re old enough to watch rated R films, have the stomach for some pretty intense scenes and aren’t afraid to hear some jokes about the president. 

     The story begins with four Vietnam veterans Paul, Otis, Eddie, and Melvin visiting Vietnam some 30-50 years after the war. They have two reasons for going back, otherwise they wouldn’t have gone at all. They had found a lot of gold belonging to the U.S. during their time, but they did not return it, instead they buried it. They thought that fighting in a war for a country that has been suppressing them since the beginning deserved a reward. They also lost their squad leader, Norman (a.k.a “Stormin’ Norman’”), during a battle and were determined to find his remains. 

     This did not go without consequence, however, because the Vietnamese people were still very upset with the outcome of the war. The Bloods were constantly harassed and only really treated nicely by their guide, Vinh. Before their voyage Paul’s son, David, decides he wants to come along. Paul was hesitant because he and his son had some kind of beef, but we don’t need to worry about that just yet. After that, anything written here will be a spoiler, and why write a review if you’re just going to spoil the whole thing, right? All that matters is this movie has a lot of twists and turns to prepare for. People stepping on landmines, gunfights, and watching someone try to deal with insanity and survival at the same time.

     Now, let’s dive into why this movie is worth the watch. During the opening credits, the movie starts with various clips of the war abroad, and right here on American soil. It shows how uncomfortable this time must have been for soldiers, and for those fighting for their civil rights in their own home-towns. The cinematography in this film is very similar to any other action movie you would see, but it includes some elements that make it unique to its own. For example, during the Bloods’ flashbacks of the war the frame moves in and the filter makes it look old and gritty, as if it was shot with an older camera. 

     Here’s why you may or may not be interested in this movie. Let’s start with why you may not. First off, it’s kind-of a cheesy movie, but if you’re into that, please go right ahead. Secondly, as said before, this is a left-leaning movie, and includes quite a few scenes of various people making fun of Donald Trump. Personally, I think it is a very important movie to see because the story it tells is true for a lot of Americans. I mean, I don’t think any soldiers stole millions of dollars worth of gold, but I do believe that there were black soldiers during the time that didn’t know how to combat the war in Vietnam and the war at home. It brings light to the struggles of that generation of black Americans, which I think is important and powerful. It sends a message to all Americans, not only on behalf of the black veterans, but all colors who were treated poorly when they returned, and for years after the war. It brings light to the fact that these struggles are still being had to this day, especially now. It may be cheesy, but it holds a powerful message that I think everyone should know and hear, even if you can’t relate. Not to mention all the explosions and how unexpected the ending is, which are both pro’s in my opinion.