Before going into Overlord, I had read some promising reviews. This was a pleasant surprise because based on the trailer, I was fairly excited but slightly unsure whether director Julius Avery could pull of this seemingly ridiculous theme of Nazi zombies. After seeing it however, I was completely blown away. Find out why Overlord was one of my favorite movies of 2018 in this Overlord movie review.
I went into Overlord expecting a platoon of American soldiers slaughtering hordes of Nazi orchestrated zombies. Instead, what I got was one of the best war movies I have seen in a long time with the looming fear of a potential man-made army, which wasn’t reviled until much later. Similar to something like From Dusk Till Dawn, the bulk of the film is used to construct a separate plot entirely which was centered in realism.
During the invasion of France, a US airborne squad is sent on a mission to take down a radio tower located in a church. For most of the film, it is about just that. While this may seem disappointing, the tension mixed with humor and excitement turned out to be movie nirvana. Put simply, Overlord had no fat. Nothing in the plot of this movie could be taken out to make it move along quicker because everything was essential to the plot.
Don’t be fooled however; Overlord isn’t your dad’s WWII film. This movie makes it clear that it will be blatantly cheesy from its grindhouse style opening text. Overlord chooses to not take itself too serious, which was brilliant. There is something satisfying about a stereotypical American soldier delivering a one-liner before punching a chemically altered Nazi super-villain. If you think I’m joking, that was actually a scene in Overlord and to be honest, it was one of my favorites.
Even with its satisfying level of absurdity however, Overlord still manages to make a believable war movie. Unlike something from Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, Overlord is more selectively over-the-top and save’s it’s cheesiness for the perfect moments. I would be lying if I said I didn’t pump my fist once or twice when a Nazi was picked off by an American sniper or a zombie was set on fire by a flame thrower.
First and foremost, Wyatt Russell is quickly becoming one of my new favorite actors. He has performed excellently in everything I’ve seen him in from 22 Jump Street, Everybody Wants Some and possibly my favorite episode of Black Mirror. Playing Corporal Ford in Overlord however, Russell surprises audience with his ability to portray a soldier that puts his mission above any humanitarian moral issue. Jovan Adepo sets himself up as a lead actor for future roles after his excellent job as Boyce, the lead character.
Just like his ability to play a villain in Game of Thrones, Pilou Asbæk plays one of the best evil Nazi’s I’ve ever seen. Even the stereotypical abrasive Jersey kid in nearly all WWII films, John Magaro does an outstanding job in this movie. Probably the best part of all these actors’ performances is their characters story arch. Every character is perfectly utilized and experiences a transformation throughout the story that was previously viewed as a character weakness.
Per usual, the Chairgatin’ movie review scoring system consist of American flag recliners, which are good for obvious reasons, and fedoras which are bad, also for obvious reasons. 5 recliners represent the best and 5 fedoras represent the worst. I’m awarding Overlord four recliners; a grindhouse zombie movie that ended up being an outstanding WWII film.
I don’t know what else can be said about this movie. I personally thought it was excellent from beginning to end and easily one of my favorites of the year. Any negative reviews will most likely come from individuals who took the film more serious than the director. Visually stunning, edge-of-your-seat thrilling, chair-grippingly suspenseful, grindhouse gory, satisfyingly vengeful with a delectably- cheesy plot to create one hell of an entertaining WWII film. Write that on your damn Blu-ray cover, Paramount because I loved every bit of Overlord.