So much to unpack in this emotional and provocative near-masterpiece. Like many Spike Lee joints, it does feel a bit messy and like it’s going off the rails at times, (especially in the pretty wild second half), but that kind of chaotic unpredictability is what makes his films special. More importantly, they’re what make watching his films feel like more than just watching a film. They feel like briefly plugging into the ugly and beautiful chaos of the American experience itself.
The basic plot involves four black Vietnam veterans (Delroy Lindo, Clark Peters, Isaiah Whitlock Jr., and Norm Lewis, all excellent) returning to Vietnam to find the remains of their friend and fellow soldier, as well as a great deal of gold they found before and buried. And so, so much more. Tragedy, suspense, comedy, pathos, history, adventure, current events, all of that and more.