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‘Overlord’ sparks off a few B-movie thrills

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Rating: «« out of ««««

Running Time: 109 minutes

Taken on their own, war movies can be pretty traumatic and disturbing. This week, Overlord attempts to combine elements of a WWII picture with, oddly enough, a creature feature. For audiences, that means an extra helping of bloodshed between the battles.

The end result is a bit trashy and something of a mixed bag, but one that should entertain those primarily looking for simple horror thrills over serious war drama.

The story involves a U.S. airborne regiment on a mission behind enemy lines in France.

With Allied forces ready to storm the beaches on D-Day, the group are tasked with destroying an enemy radio tower in a village and help the front advance.

Team members include Sgt. Eldson (Bokeem Woodbine), Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell), and a private named Boyce (Jovan Adepo). After their plane goes down, the survivors encounter a local resident named Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) who agrees to hide them from Nazis like Wagner (Pilot Asbæk) and help them with their operation.

However, when Boyce sneaks into hidden labs at the site, he discovers bizarre experiments and terrifying mutations.

The best the film has going for it are its likable protagonist, the impressive production design and the numerous well-shot action scenes. In fact, a number of them are quite tense. This includes a sequence in which the hero parachutes down and must keep from drowning into a lake, as well as his trudge through a forest filled with dead compatriots hanging from the trees above (that are tinged a disquieting red from the explosions occurring in the distance).

With the exception of some ineffective CGI in the sky during the opening raid, this movie looks a whole lot more polished and slick than it has any right to, given its goofy subject matter.

As events move into the underground Nazi science labs and begin to involve mad researchers and disturbing experiments involving a red serum, the movie doesn’t hold back in presenting graphic horror film-related shocks.

There are several wince-inducing sights, including the disturbing physical effects of the drugs displayed on subjects. And as multiple characters are eventually injected, it does lead to an amusing, if far too brief, climactic monster-versus-monster clash.

Everyone on screen appears to be taking it all very seriously, which is both a blessing and a curse.

Generally speaking, there are moments where the tone doesn’t feel quite right. An even more over-the-top approach would have helped earn the film even more laughs and add some exploitation movie charm.

The opening mêlée and scenes in which Nazi forces fire at locals and children, in addition to one bit that suggests an imminent physical assault between the villain and female lead, do seem at odds with more exaggerated moments involving super-soldiers repeatedly returning from the dead.

However, this reviewer must admit the action does come fairly fast and several segments do provide good tension and excitement.

Overlord isn’t the greatest B-movie ever made (and it may not even top the similarly absurdist charms of the 2009 Norwegian Nazi horror picture, Dead Snow) but genre fans will likely be impressed by the spectacle and silly, embellished carnage provided.

Visit: www.CinemaStance.com

‘Overlord’ sparks off a few B-movie thrills

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun

Rating: «« out of ««««

Running Time: 109 minutes

Taken on their own, war movies can be pretty traumatic and disturbing. This week, Overlord attempts to combine elements of a WWII picture with, oddly enough, a creature feature. For audiences, that means an extra helping of bloodshed between the battles.

The end result is a bit trashy and something of a mixed bag, but one that should entertain those primarily looking for simple horror thrills over serious war drama.

The story involves a U.S. airborne regiment on a mission behind enemy lines in France.

With Allied forces ready to storm the beaches on D-Day, the group are tasked with destroying an enemy radio tower in a village and help the front advance.

Team members include Sgt. Eldson (Bokeem Woodbine), Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell), and a private named Boyce (Jovan Adepo). After their plane goes down, the survivors encounter a local resident named Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) who agrees to hide them from Nazis like Wagner (Pilot Asbæk) and help them with their operation.

However, when Boyce sneaks into hidden labs at the site, he discovers bizarre experiments and terrifying mutations.

The best the film has going for it are its likable protagonist, the impressive production design and the numerous well-shot action scenes. In fact, a number of them are quite tense. This includes a sequence in which the hero parachutes down and must keep from drowning into a lake, as well as his trudge through a forest filled with dead compatriots hanging from the trees above (that are tinged a disquieting red from the explosions occurring in the distance).

With the exception of some ineffective CGI in the sky during the opening raid, this movie looks a whole lot more polished and slick than it has any right to, given its goofy subject matter.

As events move into the underground Nazi science labs and begin to involve mad researchers and disturbing experiments involving a red serum, the movie doesn’t hold back in presenting graphic horror film-related shocks.

There are several wince-inducing sights, including the disturbing physical effects of the drugs displayed on subjects. And as multiple characters are eventually injected, it does lead to an amusing, if far too brief, climactic monster-versus-monster clash.

Everyone on screen appears to be taking it all very seriously, which is both a blessing and a curse.

Generally speaking, there are moments where the tone doesn’t feel quite right. An even more over-the-top approach would have helped earn the film even more laughs and add some exploitation movie charm.

The opening mêlée and scenes in which Nazi forces fire at locals and children, in addition to one bit that suggests an imminent physical assault between the villain and female lead, do seem at odds with more exaggerated moments involving super-soldiers repeatedly returning from the dead.

However, this reviewer must admit the action does come fairly fast and several segments do provide good tension and excitement.

Overlord isn’t the greatest B-movie ever made (and it may not even top the similarly absurdist charms of the 2009 Norwegian Nazi horror picture, Dead Snow) but genre fans will likely be impressed by the spectacle and silly, embellished carnage provided.

Visit: www.CinemaStance.com

By Glenn Kay

For the Sun