Let’s get this part out of the way first: Overlord, the latest action/horror film from Bad Robot, isn’t in no way have any connection to the Cloverfield universe. Though it is produced by J.J. Abrams and was kept is secretly for the longest time, this is not related in any way performed since he debunked that rumor months ago. So, as the movie was continuing, it’s pretty easy to see why.
What’s the Story: On the eve of D-Day after surviving a deadly attack, American paratroopers drop behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France to order to take down a communications satellite on top of a church tower. But they soon discover a secret Nazi experiment that seems uncommon to these men to handle.
Directed by Julius Avery (Son of a Gun), Overlord, from the looks of it, portrays itself as a middle of the road action movie that looks like it could be a ton of fun with it involving Nazi zombies in a war film. I say it is that, but not in the way people are amusing it’s gonna be from the trailers. In some way, Overlord is a combination of Call of Duty: Zombies, Dawn of the Dead, and Inglourious Basterds all into one.
We follow this group of Americans, including Pvt. Boyce (Jovan Adepo, Fences), Cpl. Ford (Wyatt Russell), Tibbet (John Magaro), and Chase (Lain De Caestecker) trying to stay safe and complete their orders once they run into a local, Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), and they hide inside her house with her little brother Paul (Gianny Taufer) in this small French village.
What can be said positively is that the action doesn’t hold anything back. This is the kind of action that’s to be expected if you want to be psyched by soldiers killing Nazis. There’s a sequence in the first act where their plane was shot down and that entire moment was spectacular and should be considered one of the most intense scenes of the year. Kind of reminded me a lot of the moment from Edge of Tomorrow. And the movie gets pretty gory where it’s gross, but to accept the fact that it’s supposed to be.
The two best performances came from Russell and Adepo, respectively. Russell has always been on my radar in the past four years whenever he appears in anything, and he gave it his own in. There are even moments where he shadows his father, Kurt, in a couple of scenes. And Adepo is essentially the main leader we follow through this adventure. Turns out that those two were the only characters that I honestly cared about throughout this.
But I was a little disappointed with how serious Overlord took itself sometimes. From its story, this was already expected to be the kind of horror flick that can poke fun at what going on on screen. And that’s not to say its ruined by Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) and Mark L. Smith (The Revenant)’s script, but it surprised me that I was expecting more action involved. Because of that, it honestly made the first half pretty slow when there’s not a lot of action happening and hiding out in the house talking hoping to build up the suspense, but made the movie drag.
Overall, Overlord is made for people who enjoy mayhem action and just want to have a fun time watching it. Wanna see Americans kill a bunch of Nazis? Here’s your chance, if you could handle some bloody moments. It does take a while to bring the energy back up after the beginning, but it’s a worth a matinee. Avery has a future for directing more studio films.
Overlord perfectly blends its genres (action/horror/war) to create an original and fun B-movie even when it has trouble with taking its story seriously.