“Overlord” is tons of fun for everyone

David Eckstein

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

From director Julius Avery (Son of a Gun) and producer J.J. Abrams (Super 8, Star Trek, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens) comes “Overlord,” a WWII film about American paratroopers who are tasked with destroying a radio tower on a fortified church to aid their allies on D-Day.

They soon discover that, underneath the church, Nazi’s have been conducting horrific experiments on any test subjects they can get their hands on. Outnumbered and outgunned, our heroes go head to head with enemies unlike anything the world has ever seen.

So yeah, it basically sounds like your typical high budget B-movie full of nothing but large amounts of gore and violence. However, there is more to this film than you might think. Despite having a bare-bones, straightforward plot, there is a lot to appreciate in “Overlord.”

For one, the film knows right from the start that it’s a B-movie and it embraces that status, but not to a point where it goes over the top. The film does a good job of not taking itself too seriously throughout its run-time. However, you could argue that many characters are only there to either say one-liners or get killed off. Despite this, the actors themselves perform their roles well and the concept of the film is done so realistically that you feel like you’re alongside the actors throughout the movie. The acting performances make the viewer want to follow the characters as they face frightening scenarios with nightmare-inducing imagery.

The main reason this film works so well is that it’s able to combine multiple genres into one coherent and entertaining entity. Its unique mix of characters from old school WWII films, with the suspense and fear of zombie horror fests, and even violent video game action set pieces, creatively mesh and balance each other out to create a film that fans of multiple genres can enjoy.

The filmmakers also manage to find the right balance of both CGI and practical effects, though they still use a lot of CGI particularly in the opening plane sequence. The film incorporates more and more practical effects as it dives into the horror aspect, which is a refreshing change not seen in most modern-day horror films.

While “Overlord” is not the greatest film ever made or even the most entertaining B-movie, it accomplishes the difficult task of appealing to a wide variety of audiences – a hard thing to do in a day and age where multiple films have failed to appeal to even just one audience. Whether you’re a fan of war films, horror films, or even the latest Call of Duty games, there’s something in this film for many people to enjoy. From skydiving under enemy gunfire into Nazi Germany to fighting zombies in a Wolfenstein-like laboratory, “Overlord” certainly has it all.

Rating: 3.5/5 sails

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