Overlord is a wild ride with heart stopping suspense, visceral action and a truly sympathetic protagonist in Boyce.
Plot: 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.
Review: I’ve barely seen any trailers or TV spots for Overlord which hits theatres this weekend; it deserves more hype and I think it is destined to become a cult classic.
It wastes no time getting going as we are introduced to our group of soldiers who are about to have a very bad day. They are on an aircraft fresh out of bootcamp on a mission to take down the enemy’s control tower so the allies can land during World War II. Our protagonist Boyce (Jovan Adepo) is immediately appealing as he trembles in fear and is mocked by the rest of his unit who don’t think he can cut it as a soldier but we can tell straight away this isn’t going to be the case.
We then have a barnstorming sequence as he jumps out of the plane with his comrades parachuting into France to complete his mission. From this point on the film never lets up with edge of your seat tension as Boyce tries to regroup with his squad while avoiding Nazis.
You can never go wrong having Nazis as villains as watching them get their comeuppance is always satisfying. The Nazis aren’t the only threat however, as they have been conducting underground experiments on the local populace unleashing a new kind of evil on the world.
Overlord perfectly splices genres so we have action, horror and a touch of 50’s sci-fi thrown in. The excellent music score in particular reminded me of old-fashioned sc-fi movies and really helped in ramping up the tension. The sound was incredible in our theatre making for a more immersive experience.
As the story progresses Boyce begins to find his courage so it’s up to him and his small group of survivors to stop the Nazis and destroy the tower.
The cast are all believable with Wyatt Russell playing the group leader Ford who is a more layered and interesting character than you’d maybe expect. We genuinely care what happens to these men and want them to succeed in their mission. Jovan Adepo will go on to bigger better things as Boyce is one of my favourite movie characters of the year.
It clearly has a decent budget too as the visual effects are superb; there is a little CGI during the opening but it’s well done but the rest of the movie has mostly practical effects with impressive explosions and plenty of hard R moments of violence. There are shoot-outs, wall to wall tension and a climactic fight scene making this one of the most satisfying and entertaining action movies of the year.
In terms of flaws you could say it’s all very silly and there aren’t many twists and turns to the story but the audience I watched it with seemed to have a blast.
Overall, Overlord is an intense ride with plenty of jump scares, thrills and action to definitely be worth seeing on the big screen.