A World War II action/horror/fantasy movie, produced by J.J. Abrams
Seen in a very very large theater with very few people in it.
I was pleasantly surprised by this. It’s a pretty cool movie. It’s basically a video game movie that doesn’t get too caught up in trying to connect to specific references. The first 40 minutes is exactly what you’d want from a Call of Duty movie. War-torn France, a mostly evacuated beautiful stone city, German soldiers who yell angrily and only show up randomly, leaving space for you to run around. And it has a nice look and enough creative action setpieces to get you excited.
Overlord is one of the better examples of body horror in quite some time. There’s a small simple scene in a laboratory that is creepy and gross and perfectly done. I actually wish the movie was 10x more of that. The movie gets a bit gorey, but not to the point of being gratuitous. If you like body horror, definitely check this out.
As a whole, the movie isn’t great. It’s good enough at enough stuff to be worth watching, but definitely has its issues. The movie follows a group of people, and their interactions together are uninteresting if not fully annoying. The main guy (Jovan Adepo) is fine, which is all he needs to be as the everyman surrogate character. And the character Ford was definitely written with a younger Jason Clarke in mind, even giving him the haircut and aggression that Clarke often gets. At one point in watching I consciously thought “wow this kid is just trying to be Kurt Russell, even making his voice sound like him.” Credits roll and I see his name is Wyatt Russell. So I guess the similarity isn’t his fault. And I’ve had enough of the stereotypical annoying Italian-American character that gets written into all these movies. Who is that for? One impressive thing this movie does is mixing low stakes and high stakes. This mission will turn the tide of the war, but we also need to protect this random family. It weaves back and forth seamlessly, and manages to wrap up each in very organic ways, giving each equal weight to story. Most action movies don’t even try to do this well.
One good thing: The French actress, Mathilde Ollivier, was really good in a more subtle role. I won’t be surprised to see her more over the next 10 years.
One bad thing: The fully turned monster people were too rubbery, to the point of looking kinda goofy. But the big bad’s makeup was pretty cool, at least.
Should you care? If you like action movies, then definitely. This was at least something somewhat original.
69/100, not bad at all.
If you liked this, you might Hellboy, which leans more into the fantasy stuff than the WWII stuff. If you liked the body horror, I obviously recommend 1982’s The Thing (which actually stars Kurt Russell) and The Fly (1986). And Scanners from 1981 is super underrated.