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Overlord (A Movie Review)

Updated: Sep 27, 2023



Starring Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Pilou Asbæk, Mathilde Ollivier, John Magaro, Iain de Caestecker, Jacob Anderson, Dominic Applewhite, Gianny Taufer, Joseph Quinn, Bokeem Woodbine, Erich Redman, Mark McKenna, Hayley Carmichael, Marc Rissmann, Meg Foster, Sarah Finigan, Gunther Wurger, Bart Lambert and Michael Epp.

Screenplay by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith.

Directed by Julius Avery.

Distributed by Paramount Pictures. 110 minutes. Rated R.

Screened at the 2018 Philadelphia Film Festival.

I have previously written that I don’t watch zombie or horror movies. Not my thing. I don’t enjoy jumping out of my seat and really hate reverting to my childhood fear of things that go bump in the night. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Jordan Peele’s Get Out but justified it as more of a social commentary and really, the major horror bits were the evil characters getting it in the end.

Then I saw JJ Abrams associated with Overlord and thought, hey, why not? Even if it was bad, with JJ Abrams associated with it, it was bound to have humor and well-developed characters.

Overlord was so entertaining. The one hour, 50-minute run time has never flown by so quickly. I jumped in my seat so many times, even when I already expected to be scared. The audience was laughing, gasping, and screaming in all of the right places.

The story felt like a mash up of lots of other movies. Nothing seemed particularly unique, but all put together in Overlord, it all felt right. The band of main characters were stereotypical of the characters we’ve seen in war movies of the past:

  1. Boyce (played by Jordan Adepo) is our central character. He is a character mocked early on for nearly not making it through boot camp, but we find that it is because he is smart and empathic, without the usual soldier’s imperative to follow orders without question.

  2. Ford (played by Wyatt Russell) is the mysterious, quiet, “mission is everything” leader of the group – added in for his ability with explosives.

  3. Tibbet (played by John Magaro) is the bully turned comic relief. He is unfiltered, but we see another side of him as he bonds with young Paul, in spite of language barriers.

  4. Chloe (played by Mathilde Ollivier) is Paul’s older sister. She is fearless in her sense of responsibility and she senses Boyce’s humanity leading allowing her to team up with the band of soldiers.

  5. Wafner (played by Pilou Asbeck) the villain. He’s a Nazi aggressor turned science experiment gone so very wrong. He’s also the bully of the French village until our heroes show him who’s boss.

And somehow, through Abrams’ trademark character development, each character breaks away from their stereotype and become characters that feel fresh and worth rooting for (and in the case of Wafner, against).

The mission: to jump into Nazi occupied France and blow up a village’s church tower, that has been jamming aerial signals, on the eve before D-day. What they find is a Nazi medical experiment horror lab that must be stopped.

The moulage was INCREDIBLE – from blown-open faces to evil serum doing its deed, there were characters contorting in the craziest ways. There is so much to see that I feel certain that I will catch new things when I see it again.  If you enjoy alternative history, horror, sci-fi, war movies, Overlord is the movie for you.

Coming soon to theaters to scare you.

Bonnie Paul

Copyright ©2018 All rights reserved. Posted: October 29, 2018.

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