Following the chaotic and troublesome adventures of a group of American soldiers dropped onto Nazi turf 24 hours before D-Day, Overlord breathes some life back into the action horror genre. The paratrooper squad, made up of Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell), and soldiers Boyce (Jovan Adepo), Tibbet (John Magaro) and Chase (Iain De Caestecker), are tasked with destroying a German radio tower before D-Day commences, with help from a young French woman, Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier). What unfolds is a tale of zombie mutations and empathetic ideals at the heart of… killing Nazis, in a real American way.
Overlord may not appear smart or scary on the surface. It doesn’t seem to offer up much more than your generic run of the mill WW2 action/horror flick, but this intentional deception is one producer J.J. Abrams has made before. Presenting itself as a simple war film, and toying within the realms of the action-horror genre, Overlord is far sillier, gorier and more twisted than you could imagine. An intense mash up of two worlds, reminiscent of those seen in Wolfenstien and Resident Evil, this gore-fest will satisfy any horror fan’s desires.
The sadistic and gritty aspects of the film are not all it has to offer. Overlord gives a refreshing take on classic tropes such as the ‘damsel in distress’, as well as subversively using violence and gore to promote empathetic ideals. Chloe’s dependency on the male characters for help is not borne out of sexist intent but rather to highlight the required union and effort of each character. She later proves she was never in fact a damsel, or in distress, and that nothing is cooler than a girl with a flamethrower. The actions of the characters are noble and honest, clichéd but justified and understandable, even when a little stupid. Overlord is dripping with heart-felt moments, acts of kindness and protection. However, these earnest moments are missing any real emotional depth, adding to the films shallow, fun loving nature.
Also lacking in any real scares, director Julius Avery fails to deliver any real tension beyond the opening scene. Overlord is bursting with gore and brutalities, making it beyond enjoyable to watch, but it barely manages any lasting impact. You can’t help wanting more.