Spike Lee does it again with his first Netflix feature, ‘Da 5 Bloods’. Through the story of four veterans who go back to Vietnam on a treasure hunt, he delivers a strong message that resonates even louder under the current circumstances. The film uses every opportunity to highlight the contribution of African-Americans in the building of America and how they have been repaid for it, over the years. Meanwhile, it also depends on a thrilling story with interesting characters that comes to a surprising but honorable end. If you haven’t seen the film yet, head over to Netflix. SPOILERS AHEAD
Paul, Otis, Eddie, and Melvin reunite in Vietnam after a very long time. They plan to go back into the jungle where they had once fought in the war. Their plan is to locate Norman, their brother-in-arms who had died in the war. They want to take him home, but that is not the only thing that brought them back together.
Years ago, the five of them had found a chest of gold bars that the American government was to offer to the Vietnamese who had taken their side in the war. The Bloods decided to keep it for themselves. Norman intended to give back the gold to the community and use it as the source to fight for their people. But before he could make good on these plans, he is killed. Helping the four Bloods in their quest is Tien, Otis’s ex-lover, and David, Paul’s son with whom he has a troubled relationship.
After Paul’s paranoia gets out of control, the group tries to control him by overpowering him, but he takes it as a betrayal. When they come out of the forest, they find Vinh waiting for them, but some VCs also arrive at the location to steal the gold from them. This leads to a gunfight in which David is hurt and the VCs run away. Paul takes his share of the gold and leaves in anger because everyone is a traitor for him now.
The remaining Bloods, Vinh, Hedy, and Simon head for the temple nearby where they’ll have a better chance to fight off the VCs who will be back to retaliate. For sure, they return with more force and it turns out that Desroche was the one who betrayed the Bloods, without Tien’s knowledge. An intense gunfight ensues, which the Bloods win, but not without a price.
What Happens to the Bloods?
‘Da 5 Bloods’ in the movie were Paul, Otis, Eddie, Melvin, and Norman. They had developed a close bond with one another, wherein they loved each other like brothers. Four of them survived the Vietnam War but returned many years later to bring back their fallen leader. The second visit turns out to be another battle in the war that they never actually left behind. It stayed with them all this while, and when they reunite in ‘Nam, they find themselves in the same danger that they had barely escaped the last time.
The first one to fall was Norman. His death affected Paul more adversely than it did others. While they rule it out to Paul’s closeness with Norman, it turns out that Norman is more haunted by guilt than grief. It was he who shot Norman, though mistakenly. In the end, Norman appears to him and asks him to let him go, freeing Paul of the weight of the blame he has been carrying around his whole life. Soon after, the VCs find him and after making him dig his own grave, they kill him.
Eddie is blown to pieces after he steps on a landmine, which leaves Melvin and Otis, who fight for their lives in the final fight at the temple. After taking out several VCs, Melvin dies after shielding a grenade. Desroche comes very close to killing Otis, but David intervenes just in time to save him and kill the French guy.
What happens to the gold?
One of the things that the Bloods adopt as their slogan is “Five Bloods don’t die, we multiply.” At the end of the film, we see the same thing happening. Even when four of five Bloods are gone, they leave behind more Bloods who vow to change the world. As per Eddie’s wishes, his part of the gold is donated to the cause that Norman had talked about. Black Lives Matter receives a grand donation that gives more support to their movement. Melvin’s money is sent to his son, and Paul’s gold is lost in the forest.
Otis reunites with Tien and finally gets to meet his daughter, Michon. Vinh, who had helped move the gold after Desroche was out of the equation, also gets his share. Hedy and Simon, who got in on the plan at the last minute, use their share to further their plan of removing landmines and helping the people who have been affected by it.
Read More: Here’s the Real History Behind Da 5 Bloods