Overlord is the newest film produced by J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot label. It is about a group of American soldiers who invade France on the eve of D-Day, finding unexpected horrors behind enemy lines.
If you can accept this for what it is, it is sure to be one of the most fun action movies of the year. It doesn’t really challenge the audience intellectually, nor does it have a particular moral or message. You’re pretty much just watching a movie version of the Call of Duty zombie mode, and that’s okay.
That being said, the film still crafts characters that are thoroughly compelling. There are a few moments that may be slightly emotionally manipulative, but they work nonetheless. Even though the characters do conform pretty closely to their archetypes towards the beginning of the story, they end up defying them in multiple ways by the end.
Furthermore, the script isn’t entirely predictable. It is crazy and chaotic, and there is no way of knowing whether a character is going to make it through the night or not. This keeps you on the edge of your seat for almost all of the movie. Even when you think the characters are safe, they aren’t.
The opening sequence of this film is one of the most exhilarating action sequences in a very long time. It’s crazy, loud, violent, and has a sense of urgency. The movie throws you right into the action with little preparation. If you get the chance to catch the film in IMAX or another PLF, you definitely should, because this sequence alone makes it worth the extra cost.
The visuals are great too. The production design is very immersive, taking the audience back in time to WWII. There were also other little things like the title font that add to the atmosphere. The cinematography is great too. Perhaps most impressive about the execution, though, are the film’s effects. The CGI and practical effects are both great. The design for the monsters is surprisingly really creepy.
The actors are also very good. Jovan Adepo plays the protagonist, and he does an excellent job. He gives a lot of emotion in the role and has a lot of charisma. John Magaro is a standout in the supporting cast, serving largely as the comedic relief. The biggest standout, though, is Pilou Asbæk, who plays the villain. Granted, he is hammy, but the movie is campy as a whole, so it fits right in.
Overall, Overlord is one of the most fun movies to come out this year. It’s dumb and campy, but it embraces that, making this film a worthwhile watch.
Overlord is now playing in theaters.