OVERLORD – Rated R -1 hr. 49 mins.
DIRECTOR: Julius Avery
WRITER: Billy Ray, Mark L Smith
STARRING: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, and Mathilde Ollivier
The Nazi’s Had a Deep, Dark Secret
High above the skies of Normandy, “Overlord” opens as the assault of D-Day is only hours away. A plane full of nervous, terrified paratroopers anxiously-await their inevitable fates. Reminiscent of previous WWII films, the opening is harrowingly-intense and suspenseful; leaving you to feel the fear of the soldiers and every bang and shake in the sky. Boyce (Jovan Adepo), Tibbet (John Magaro), Chase (Iain De Caestecker), Dawson (Jacob Anderson), Rosenfeld (Dominic Applewhite), and last-minute addition Ford (Wyatt Russell) are shot-out of the sky as they are attempting to make their jump, landing scattered-along the woodlands of Normandy. As they attempt to find other soldiers who survived the jump, they witness their leader executed in the harsh, inhumane style that the Nazis are synonymous with. In the woods, the unit stumbles-across a young woman named Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier); who then leads-them to her house in her Nazi-occupied village where the rally point is located. Wafner (Pilou Asbæk), a young German sergeant, ventures-into Chloe’s home while the Americans are hiding upstairs; to take advantage of his rank and the Nazi control.
However, his attack on Chloe is thwarted and he is taken-prisoner with the hopes that he can provide the layout for the compound. While attempting to complete their mission and take-out the radio tower at the top of the Church in the Nazi’s fortress so the planes can provide cover for the boys on the beaches, Boyce is forced to hide in a truck full of dead bodies and taken inside their operation; where he makes a terrifying discovery. After re-grouping with a fellow, lost soldier and the rest of his unit, Boyce makes it clear that their mission has taken on a brand new meaning, with an increased level of importance that may completely define the War.
From the moment JJ Abrams announced he was producing, moviegoers across the Globe became excited (myself included) and with good reason. While the film is not your typical Nazi-Zombie “Call of Duty” gameplay, thought its story is at-times “video game-esque”, it will inspire gamers to race home and put a few zombies in the dirt! Directed by Julius Avery, “Overlord” never shies away from the hideous, grotesque outcomes of war. The action set pieces are violent and intense, especially the film’s opening and its final battle. The “zombie” arc is well-crafted and makes for a very entertaining climax; the make-up and prosthetic professionals should take a bow! As for the cast, Adepo, Russell, Ollivier, and Asbæk steal the show; but I can’t wait to see what Adepo’s future holds! Make no mistake, “Overlord” is not meant to be an act of historical non-fiction. There are errors with some of the film’s content and the era in which the film takes-place, but it never takes away from the story. During the course of its 109 minutes, “Overlord” never relinquishes its firm-grasp of your attention and provides one hell of a fun ride. The film also makes you think, “Maybe something like this did happen?” While the Nazi labs were deeply-examined, rumors did get around about their zombie experiments. As “Overlord” suggests, we may never truly know.
“Overlord” is an absolute blast; a violent, gory, B-movie thrill ride! Get your friends together this weekend and go check this film out!