On the eve of D-Day, American paratroopers drop behind enemy lines to penetrate the walls of a fortified church and destroy a radio transmitter. As the soldiers approach their target, they soon begin to realize that there’s more going on in the Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. Making their way to an underground lab, the outnumbered men stumble upon a sinister experiment that forces them into a vicious battle against an army of the undead. – Paramount Pictures
Overlord was directed by Julius Avery and written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith. Off the top of the dome, I’m not super familiar with the team behind this. With some googling I learned that Billy Ray also wrote The Hunger Games, which is probably the only good one in the series. J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot produced it and that’s what originally sold me.
I was in on this movie the minute I heard about—J.J. Abrams, WWII, occultism and that it was a possibly a Cloverfield movie. Then the trailer came out and it wasn’t a Cloverfield movie but I was still super into it. A good trailer with a good song will get my butt in a seat—Hell’s Bells, baby. I was probably the only person excited for this movie—the Nazis and their fascination with the occult fascinates me. This isn’t Call of Duty Nazi zombies and it’s not a Cloverfield movie but it’s a goddamn rocking roller coaster ride of B-movie, schlocky excellence.
There is definitely better World War 2 movies but as I am writing this now I’m still on the Overlord high—so I am proclaiming it the best World War 2 movie don’t @ me. Overlord is a strange movie. You’d expect it to embrace the wackiness once it goes off the rails but no —everything is played straight in Overlord, which works. The opening scene is absolutely wild and captures the entire feel of WWII, its extremely stressful and feels genuine—you’d expect a scene like it in Dunkirk, not a movie about Nazi undead monsters. I don’t want to spoil much, but it was a very unexpected but strong opening, absolutely incredible in a Dolby theater. Overlord really benefits from being seen in the largest and loudest theater possibly.
Overlord feels very much like any other WWII movie, or that is until the metaphorically shit hits the fan. You’ll even find the stereotypical WWII characters, for example the really mouthy Jewish guy from Brooklyn. This all works in it’s benefit, if you went into Overlord not knowing anything about it, you’d be completely shocked when Overlord reveals its true colors. The writing in this is quite solid, there were a few eye roll moments but they needed to happen to progress the plot. There was way more character development than I expected. The story was interesting and kept me on the edge of my seat. My biggest gripe is that the exact Nazi science wasn’t fully fleshed out, which is fine the story didn’t need it—I was just really interested in that aspect of the story.
This movie feels very much like a B-movie with its subject matter but that’s it. The directing is top notch, action was authentic with the setting—nothing cheesy or over the top, and the acting was far better than any B-movie. The biggest name in the movie is likely Wyatt Russell—Kurt Russell’s son and he basically plays a role Kurt would’ve played. The main character Boyd was played by Jovan Adepo, I’ve never see him in anything before but he was good—he’s got the range to do anything. Pilou Asbæk played the villain and very well, super good at playing an evil dick—apparently he is from Game of Thrones, so good for him. Last but not least I wanna give a shout out to Iain De Caestecker, I love him on Agents of Shield and I was stoked to see him on the big screen. Oh yeah, I almost forgot Mathilde Ollivier as Chloe was very good too—a total badass.
Overlord is the body horror WWII movie none of us knew we wanted. Find the biggest screen near you and sit back and enjoy this adrenaline fueled undead Nazi monster movie. Its a blast literally and figuratively.
I give Overlord an 8 out of 10, would watch again.
“A thousand year Reich needs a thousand year army.”