Review by Lauryn Angel
Director Julius Avery’s Overlord is a brutal, bloody action-horror flick, and it’s a whole lot of fun. The film is equal parts war movie and gore-fest. The film may be slow in a couple of places, and there were some questions left unanswered, but on the whole, it’s an entertaining hour-and-a-half.
For the most part, the film is filtered through the point of view of Ed Boyce (Jovan Adepo), a private who is about to airdrop into France on an important Allied mission. That opening airdrop sequence is what makes seeing the film in IMAX worthwhile, although those who suffer from motion-sickness might want to see it on a regular screen. What follows is a high-tension scene of the surviving soldiers – Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell), Tibbet (John Magaro), and Chase (Ian De Caestecker) — attempting to sneak through an active nighttime battleground in search of their target. The action only slows down when the group meets Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), a French rebel who reluctantly agrees to help them. Through Chloe, the soldiers run afoul of Nazi officer, Wafner (Pilou Asbæk), and discover that the Nazis are conducting horrific experiments in the basement of the local church.
The ensemble cast is fantastic. As the protagonist, Adepo’s skillfully blends charm and innocence to draw the viewer in and reflecting their horror as war and monsters test his mettle. Russell’s Ford provides a foil to Boyce’s innocence, showing what happens to a man after he’s been through a few too many battles. Ford is almost as brutal as Wafner – a character who isn’t really developed, but Asbæk makes us want to hate him anyway. Ollivier holds her own as the only developed female character, but the movie fails her by making her the victim of attempted rape not once, but twice – almost as if writers Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith couldn’t think of anything else to threaten a woman with.
If you aren’t a fan of war movies, sci-fi, or gore, then Overlord is not the movie for you. I found it well worth my time and recommend seeing it on IMAX for the full effect of that spectacularly dizzying opening sequence.
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