Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods ★★★½

as an action-adventure film i can say i thoroughly enjoyed da 5 bloods it was action packed and dynamic, it didn’t feel unnecessarily long and kept you on the edge of your seat for most of the 2nd and 3rd acts. Delroy Lindo delivered a striking, memorable and honestly Oscar-worthy performance. the chemistry between the ensemble cast was incredible and really drove the film in many ways. the use of music was masterfully done with another excellent score from  Terence Blanchard combined with Marvin Gaye’s ‘what’s going on’ album finding out the narrative of the album is told from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran returning home makes its use even more perfect and fitting. i think much of the script was pretty strong displaying a wide range of scope; it was humorous, had moments of outbursts of pure anger and emotion but was also pretty profound and touching at parts. the way the film dramatises the flashbacks combined with real historical montages actualises the experiences of these men with only an aspect ratio change to differentiate between the wartime and the present also bringing the politically charged elements of the film to the forefront and in some ways it represents how being black in America can be likened to a never ending war.

but at the end of it i couldn’t pin down an idea or message that i was supposed to take away from the film which i think is where it falls shorts; it doesn’t offer a clear political analysis when that felt so important to the film considering the underpinning themes were war and race. at the end of it all, the commentary on race and politics was perplexing to say the least. one example is Paul raising his fist whilst wearing the MAGA cap. the BLM chant also felt misplaced and was almost cringe-worthy. overall i think the film explored an array of interesting ideas without pining anything down and for me that came across as a weak point. i couldn’t even figure out if the film was celebrating the unacknowledged heroism of Black Americans in the war or if it was condemning them in some way. what was the purpose of Norman’s character who represents a young revolutionary figure with strong moral compass who they describe as ‘our Malcolm or our Martin’ yet his ideas start and end with him and aren’t carried throughout the film through the other characters although he’s portrayed as quintessential to their brotherhood and to the film itself through the flashbacks. definitely an enjoyable watch but i wish it had done more in conveying a strong political standpoint.

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