The film is described as “an action-adventure tale about four black veterans who return to Vietnam more than 40 years after the war.” The 60ish veterans — Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Norm Lewis — are trying to (a) locate the remains of their former squad leader (Chadwick Boseman), and (b) uncover some buried loot in the same general vicinity.
From the horse’s mouth (i.e., Lee to Ugwu), the film is tagged as an “homage” to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Bridge on the River Kwai and Apocalypse Now.
Key quote: “The drama that unfolds — among the men, and between the group and their present-day Vietnamese rivals — is a modern parable about the enduring depravations of war and the false promises of American individualism.”
Ugwu reports that Lindo’s character, Paul, “is an avowed Trump supporter, [spending] much of the film in a red MAGA hat.”
Excerpt: Though Paul’s vocal defense of the president may come as a surprise to some, Lee has a long track record portraying complicated black characters without sanitizing them. Exit polls show that while the vast majority of black voters overall supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, 13 percent of black men supported Trump.
“’My mother taught me at an early age that black folks are not a monolithic group,’ Lee says. ‘In order to make the story dramatic, I said, ‘What would be the most extreme thing we could do with one of the characters?’”
“’It was a problem for me at first,’ comments Lindo, who said Trump was ‘anathema to everything that I believe in. I tried to talk Spike out of it: ‘Can we just make him a conservative?’ But I think there are some black people who are so deeply disgruntled, because of very real disenfranchisement, that they’re ready to believe someone like Trump might be able to help them.'”
The mind boggles, stalls, stumbles.