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Netflix has been insanely good when it comes to collecting auteur filmmakers who are known for doing their own things. Writer and director Spike Lee is no exception, as his latest collaboration with streaming giant Netflix, the Vietnam War treasure hunt Da 5 Bloods, is pound-for-pound a Spike Lee Joint. As you’ll see in the trailer, this is exactly the sort of project the studio has made a killing on, in a style and tone that could only come from one man.
Telling the story of four Vietnam vets (Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) returning to their former battlefield, Da 5 Bloods sees these soldiers on a very special mission. As it turns out, this group buried some hidden treasure, upon the suggestion of their former squad leader (Chadwick Boseman), with the intent of retrieving it at a later date. Of course, while the war may be over, the terrain is still pretty dangerous in its own ways; and there’s bound to be other parties interested in stealing that loot themselves. Take a look.
On the surface, Da 5 Bloods almost seems like a very dramatic remake of that episode of The Simpsons where Bart and Abe Simpson went on a quest to recover some hidden Nazi gold. In true Spike Lee fashion, the concept couldn’t be further from that distinction, as his film sees these aged veterans still dealing with the fallout of their own PTSD from this long ended conflict.
Told across the present day’s treasure hunt, and flashbacks to the unit’s time in country, Da 5 Bloods also looks to be an impressive exercise in style as well. As the story of the past and the present shifts focus, there will also be a switch in aspect ratio depending on the era the film is focusing on at the time.
Netflix is on a roll with its catalog of movies like Da 5 Bloods, where prolific filmmakers make passion projects that can dabble both in the world of theatrical release, as well as direct streaming releases. With Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story as prime examples of this model’s success, Da 5 Bloods only furthers the streamer’s track record of pushing bold artistic visions from their unique market position.
If you’re looking for a story that examines humanity at its worst, as well as at its best, the man who brought us films like Do The Right Thing and BlacKkKlansman, as well as his previous streaming exclusive film Chi-Raq, is someone you know you can trust. Da 5 Bloods takes that trademark style of incendiary activism and intense drama that Spike Lee knows how to spin, and delivers it to the masses yet again.
Fans and audiences alike will be able to see Da 5 Bloods when it hits Netflix’s streaming library on June 12.