Since this site is dedicated to nonfiction, I won’t write a full review of the film Da Five Bloods. Besides, I could not make it all the way through. So writing a review would be unfair. But I did want to see if anyone out there shared my viewpoint on the soundtrack to this film.
Before I get to the mismatch of the soundtrack, a few words about my initial reaction to the film. First thought, this is what you get when you give a director total control. It had a decent concept. But Spike Lee kept getting in the way. Here is a short list of problems I picked up in the first hour that I did see: the jarring use of aspect ratio and film format to portray flashbacks, stereotype characters, the fact that the characters stay the same age even in the flashbacks; the random use of archival footage that added nothing, prolonged use of scenes that do nothing to advance plot or character, like the ten-minute long scene about a Vietnamese man trying to sell them a chicken.
Now to the soundtrack. I am a fan of film soundtracks. I have a playlist of nothing but film soundtracks A good soundtrack lifts a film from good to great. Here are just a few examples of great movie soundtracks: Risky Business, Gladiator, Braveheart, Amadeus, Jane Eyre, and Thelma & Louise.
A good soundtrack should not call attention to itself. If you want an example of how a soundtrack can ruin a film, watch Da Five Bloods. There is one scene in particular that completely took me out of the film. It’s the battle scene after the helicopter crash. The scene is bad enough without the mismatched music. So, there is a fierce gun battle going on, and Spike Lee has a jarring soundtrack from a sixties romance movie playing overly loud in the background.
The lousy soundtrack keeps popping up, instantly taking me out of the film. I would love to hear some comments. Maybe it’s just me.