Julius Avery has brought the World War 2 feels with this B-movie style War-Thriller-Sci-Fi-Horror (covering all the bases it seems!).
So, we’ve got a US-led mission to destroy a Nazi radio tower that is jamming their signal and keeping the Allied air forces at bay. Now we know why we’re deep in the shit we can move on to…. more of it! The intense and hectic opening 10mins as the main cast drop into their location is breathless and only lets the foot off the gas by a little afterwards. Decimated, a skeleton crew do their best to infiltrate the German army stronghold and attempt to complete their mission. But all at this compound is not what it seems……
Throughout there are quite a few intense set pieces, designed solely to put you on tenterhooks and they do work really well alongside the oppressive atmosphere of the German army and soldiers, who are capable of showing up at any moment and causing all manner of trouble for anyone. The addition of a ticking clock only serves to add to the building tension as these measly few soldiers realise what it is that they have to do. However, their situation is compromised further by the discovery that the German’s have been dabbling in a little bit of sci-fi, pseudo-science in an attempt to bring around a true army worthy of the Nazi plans for world domination.
Overlord is so very bloody and so violent, pulling no punches in it’s depiction of the depravity of war in all its guises but it also adds another layer on top of this with the addition of the cruel, crazy experiments of the Nazis on the soldiers of both sides. Whilst barrelling off down the road of crazy monster science it also never loses sight of the main plot point at hand which must be like trying to stop a horse from bolting, so credit must go to the directors and writers for managing to keep moving towards the end-goal amongst all the carnage and gore, of which there is much. Have I said that there is a lot of gore in this?
Acting is decent, as far as it goes, some moments are over the top but most are appropriate to the moment/situation and the desire to add in multiple quips are shied away from in preference for downbeat and functional language. The few moments of lightness work well to relieve a bit of the shock and oppression on the screen. Slow build that takes off through the 2nd act and slows a bit towards the finale, exposing the runtime as being that little bit too long and a bit too much emphasis on the action/gore over the overall plot. Pilou Asbaek is doing his best Hugo-Weaving-Villain–Act here and it works up to a point. I could have forgone the slight over the top performance for a little bit more weight, a little less on the one-on-one action sequences and this would have retained more of the grounding and less flight of fancy.