Da 5 Bloods – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Da 5 Bloods – Tears in Red: Friendship, Journey and War

The heart of friendship; human interaction that can provide the crux to any story.  Seeing a group of friends move through the even flows of life creates a genuine escape in any medium.  For film, this provides the core element for any genre.  This new Spike Lee Joint provides the element of friendship and how it can endear.  A mixture of character and social commentary, Da 5 blood is methodical storytelling the pushes simply journeys of the heart.  Even when scenes drag, Da 5 bloods is one of Spike Lee’s finest films to date.

When four vets return to Vietnam, they come to a crossroads of fate.  As memories become reality, they are in a fight that will test their friendship.  Writer/Director Spike Lee is known for creating candid stories that detail the struggle(s) of the main character(s).  He takes that same approach, but structures in a chapter like fashion that moves through genre arcs.  The first act plays along a traditional drama/characterization outline.  You meet the four Vietnam Veterans (Paul, David, Otis and Melvin), and the inciting incident (return to Vietnam).  You get thrust into the journey through the ‘drop in’ technique, witnessing the details of their friendship and purpose.  This methodical approach eases you into the stylized dialogue, atmosphere and social commentary.  This blending creates a relevancy that allows the audience to feel, see and hear the struggles of each character.  As the story moves into the second act, it leads into the adventure arc.  The four vets begin their mission by traveling into the jungles of Vietnam, searching for the remains of their squad leader and buried gold.

The pacing begins to quicken (slightly), where character dialogue levels out personal flaws between current and past events.  The flashback sequences provide answers to the ‘what and why’, showcasing how they survived the war, leading to their current situation.  The writing is raw but realistic, creating banter that showcases their unique personalities.  As they come across obstacles in their journey, the levels of conflict create mirrors of self-reflection on choices made.  This leads to a third act that showcases strong action set pieces of team vs. team scenarios.  A foreshadowing of sorts, this moves the audience to witness survival to a haunting degree.  You see the dramatic endear through action and suspense, giving levity to the flaws of the confrontation.  This leads to a climax of familiar resolutions, but brings closure to the main characters.  Da 5 Blood blends character, friendship and social commentary in a riveting story.  Even when the length wanes on certain dramatic effects, it never ceases from being a true work of art.  If you’re a fan of Spike Lee, Drama or Character films, this is one for you. This is on Netflix, but it would be worth the full price of admission.

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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