Simple review- Old blood and guts
Ohhhh those pesky Nazi’s! Just when you thought you had seen it all from those jerks along comes Overlord to add some supernatural hijinx to the list of their nastiness. Not to downplay the real atrocities the Nazi’s committed during World War II but are there any better movie villains that everyone loves to hate? Just the sight of those grey uniforms decorated with Nazi paraphernalia is enough to get any fedora wearing archeologist to start swinging his fists. Add to that some crazy experiments trying to create an unstoppable army and you’ll need more than a rocketeer to fight back the terror. Do these Nazi mad scientists succeed in creating a super soldier army, or do our Ally heroes stop the blitzkrieg? Well, put down that history book and forget what your teachers taught you about World War II so we can attack this review with shock and awe!
In my ever vigilant quest to bring honesty to the world wide web(of lies) I must reveal to you, my reliable reader, that I am going to go easy on my review of Overlord. If you are going into a Nazi-zombie-action-horror movie looking for more than Nazi-zombie-action-horror you sir or madam are a fool and I do not think we can be friends anymore! In case you have not figured out what Overlord is all about, let me fill you in. A team of U.S. paratroopers is sent into France right before the D-Day invasion of World War II to knock out German radar towers. Unfortunately for our heroes, they happen upon a Nazi outpost performing twisted experiments on the local French inhabitants, and, wouldn’t you know it, mayhem ensues. Now that you are caught up, let’s sneak into enemy territory and see if Overlord is worth rescuing or if we should introduce it to Sgt. Donny Donowitz. ( I know you liked that reference)
Overlord is a ton of fun and, the best part, it never tries to be more than what it is. I credit director Julius Avery and writers Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith with keeping this film in its wheelhouse and giving the audience exactly what they want from a movie with this B-movie premise. There is plenty of gore to go around, as well as some creepy Nazi experiments to make you squirm in your seat. I loved the opening sequence as the planes carrying the paratroopers enter enemy territory and deal with anti-aircraft artillery. It is a tense and exciting opening as the soldiers have to do their best to survive the trip to the actual mission. Once on the ground, the film treads familiar territory as the surviving soldiers try to avoid capture on their way to the church where the radar tower is. When one of the soldiers accidentally enters the church, Overlord breaks from the norm and unleashes a cool mixture of horror, action and freaky super soldier zombies. When Overlord decides to let loose it throws all kinds of crazy up on the screen to keep you on the edge of your seat.
The cast of relative unknowns does a fine job in the movie, even if there is a typical World War II character vibe from the group. Jovan Adepo is the stand out as the main protagonist, Boyce. I was impressed with his performance as he brings a noble dignity to the character and I found myself rooting for him to save the day. Jovan has not been in many movies and I hope he continues to get quality roles as he seems to have some real talent. Wyatt Russell is Ford, the battle-hardened corporal that is focused only on the mission. Wyatt seems to be channeling his famous actor dad ( can you guess who his dad is?) in some scenes which fits perfectly in his role and this movie. There is a great moment as Ford is leading the soldiers through the woods and they come across something creepy that shocks Ford, the tough guy that has seen it all. It is a small moment but it shows us that if this guy is a little scared we might be in trouble. Mathilde Oliver, as Chloe, gives a solid performance as the tough girl who does what she has to in order to protect her family.
Overlord does something that most World War II movies don’t and I was so thrilled about it. This is going to sound like a total movie nerd thing, but so be it. In Overlord the Germans speak German to each other! The French speak French to each other! I know this sounds silly but it pulls me out of a movie when German soldiers are speaking English to each other with bad, fake German accents. ( looking at you party scene in Wonder Woman) This movie has three different groups speaking different languages with many not understanding each other. It is a small thing, but I found it to be a cool touch to the film.
As much as I hate to do it, there are some negatives to Overlord. As I stated earlier, this movie covers some very familiar territory. The soldiers fall into the stereotypical roles we have seen in other World War II movies. There is the New York smart ass, the country bumpkin and the tough as nails Sargent. The main Nazi bad guy is your typical Nazi bad guy. I liked Pilou Asbaek in the role, but it is a one-note character. In fact, all of the German soldiers are your typical sneering, evil German soldiers you’ve seen a million times. I know this movie isn’t about subtlety but it could have tried a little harder in the character department.
Overlord does have its scary and creepy moments but it does tend to hold back from the craziness it could have delivered. It seems weird to read that as this movie does have it’s over the top moments, but I would have liked to have seen a little more of the experiments, especially the French lady impersonating her favorite ’80s band, The Talking Heads. ( If you’ve seen the movie you’ll get that one) Some more of the zombie super soldiers would have helped to elevate the threat to our heroes as well. Yes, there are a ton of Hollywood-isms in this one as well. Soldiers sneak around an enemy base never bumping into an enemy soldier or going into the wrong room and being found out. Of course, the U.S. soldiers are excellent shots while their German counterparts couldn’t hit the ocean if they fell out of a boat. No wonder they lost the war. There are more but I just feel wrong getting that nitpicky with this movie because it was so much fun to watch. Much like my first girlfriend, there are flaws but I am having too much fun to notice.
To wrap up this rambling bit of nonsense, I had a fun time watching Overlord. It is not a perfect movie but what it does it does with all the gore and craziness you want from a Nazi-zombie horror flick. If that sounds like your kind of movie then you will have a blast with Overlord. If you are interested in other Worl War II and Nazi-zombie movies check out Dead Snow and its sequel or The Keep, a weird and cool horror flick from Michael Mann. I hope you enjoyed this review and please like, comment, follow and share to the masses!!
As always, thanks for your time!
The Movie Psycho