When I heard that Overlord was going to be a film I was stoked because it was one of my favorite anime series that I discovered in 2018. Unfortunately, I was lied to and this film and the anime series have nothing to do with one another. Despite this deception, I jumped right in and needless to say, I was surprised, but I really should not have been, seeing as J.J. Abrams had a heavy hand in the film as a producer.
Overlord the movie focuses on Boyce, played by Jovan Adepo, who is a straight out of boot camp solider being air dropped into Nazi occupied lands, on the eve of D-Day. Despite the immense hardships of war, he and a group of other soldiers must not only complete their mission of disabling a radio tower, but also survive the horrors created by Nazi scientists.
At first glance, this looks to be just another run and gun action film with a plot similar to what you might see on Syfy, but with ten times the budget. However, I was actually caught off guard by various aspects of this film. From the first twenty minutes of Overlord you are dragged through the mud with intense visual and audio effects to ensure you are immersed in the nightmare that is flying through the air in a plane, while it is actively being shot at by anti aircraft weaponry. I could not help but feel myself gravitating to the edge of my seat, and wince at every sudden moment of misfortune that made Boyce’s situation that much worse.
They have no issues with introducing you to characters and then snatching their life away to remind you that plot armor is thin. I appreciated that because it just added to the terror that is war, whether the deaths came from getting caught by enemy soldiers, on the landing, or even just stepping on a land mine. When they began to introduce the Nazi science center, home of the radio tower where their objective was, they force the main character from his already bad predicament to an even worse one. They kept doing so until the safest place he found was in the plane being shot at by AA guns, in the very beginning of the film.
There is a tremendous amount of tension in this film, along with jump scares. Normally, I would mark down films for using such tactics, but Overlord uses it as its bread and butter. So, forced reactions actually add to its charm. The cinematography for Overlord was great, as they used every iconic trick in the book to build fear, from a hole in the wall, to cracks in doors/floorboards. While the film does make valid attempts to showcase every character and their backstory, they are still quite thin, save for the main protagonist.
If you are looking for a deep film, with fleshed out characters and Oscar worthy performances, Overlord will not cut it. However, if you are looking for an against-all-odds story where the main character has to survive fighting Nazis and Zombies and also be on the edge of your seat the entire time, then this is the film for you! Everything, from the visual/audio effects of the gore, gun fire, science facilities, and the solid acting of the cast will keep you immersed in this night of terror, as the boys fight for the good ol U.S. of A.