[Review] Da 5 Bloods 2021, Spike Lee’s new movie on Netflix


Landing this Friday on Netflix, Da 5 Bloods arrives at just the right time with a story that deeply correlates to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which is taking a pivotal turn across the Atlantic and across the globe. But wanting at all costs to be a part of this movement, has the latest Spike Lee not forgotten to be a good film?

In the very specific context of the fight against police violence and the protests of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Da 5 Bloods arrives on Netflix’s virtual shelves. After a long campaign in support of black causes, sometimes in his work, sometimes in public, Spike Lee is back with a powerful story that attacks American history and From the very first moment, the tone is set, with the first quote from Mohamed Ali, when he opposed fighting for the United States during the Vietnam War: “My conscience will not let me go and kill my brothers or the poor starving in the mud for the sake of America is great and mighty. Why kill them? They never called me a nigger, they never punished me, they never let their dogs attack me, they didn’t steal my citizenship, raped and killed my mother and father… Why kill them? There follows a succession of symbolic images of Malcom X or Martin Luther King, who will also return at some point in the story.

You’ll see, Da 5 Bloods clearly takes on the theme, and plunges us back into the horrors experienced by African American GIs during the Vietnam War… 50 years later. Quickly, we find ourselves in the company of four African-American war veterans – Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Melvin (Isiah Whitlock) and Eddie (Norm Lewis) – leaving to. in battle, Norman (Chadwick Boseman). The four tortured heroes return primarily to reclaim the huge loot consisting of gold ingots, which they had buried underground fifty years earlier, believing it to be compensation for the centuries of racial segregation suffered by black people in the United States. The movie poster itself picks up on this fight, with this punchline repeated many times in the feature film: “Our fight is not in Vietnam”. From a sealed blood pact, the five friends had vowed to return later to retrieve the treasure, before the death of Norman, their spiritual leader who was deeply involved in this struggle.

Sometimes sharp during the attack on Donald Trump, this “fake parrot-billed president”, sometimes humorous in his dialogue, and sometimes very serious, Spike Lee manages to craft an incredibly complete story, perfectly portraying an unjust America then and now. Except that, behind this solid screenplay, these many twists and turns, and the slow descent to hell from the “brothers” group, Da 5 Bloods suffers, sadly, from a plethora of flaws, starting with very limited acting in parts. certain things (with the exception of Delroy Lindo, but even cinema’s sacred monster that is Jean Reno cannot be remembered), and often the action scenes are ludicrous. Too bad for an… action film. This film turns out to be too long for the story it tells, which is 2 hours 35 minutes. As a result, the length connects, the construction falters, and the music with its often dangerous placement in the plot ends up creating a gap between epic and boredom. The proof that good movies make, and above all, post-production, and the real problem with this Da 5 Bloods seems to lie in the editing.

If few would see in them the strong filmmaker’s legs, this highly specialized assembly gives more of a hastily finished feel. Some of the unforgivable mistakes for a filmmaker of this caliber make us seriously doubt any artistic will, starting with the (too) many false connections that adorn the film (perhaps due to the director’s unfavorable tendency to double up on his shots), overstretching the duration. which seems to show a bad cut, and a slightly wobbly structure. Also, some scenes that literally depict the #BlackLivesMatter movement appear to have been added at the last minute, as the editing borders on amateurism.

This encounter is made worse because we know that Spike Lee is not opportunistic. A staunch defender of the black cause, the filmmaker has distinguished himself several times with a strong message in “Do the Right Thing”, in 1989, which had described the murder of a young African-American by a white police officer, with a message that resonated. all the more hathis ri. Most recently, he went behind the camera’s Oscar-winning “Blackkklansman”, where a black police officer infiltrated an American racist group. However, this Da 5 Bloods lacked the intrinsic qualities of the elders, and therefore did not make it to the social film rankings that he wanted to embody.