Overlord follows a group of WWII soldiers on a mission to bring down a radio tower in a remote French town. It opens with our team of soldiers traveling by plane, one of a large number of aircraft and warships all heading towards enemy territory during the dead of night. As they near their destination, things heat up. Bullet fire begins raining up from the enemy on the ground and things become very intense, with our soldiers having to evacuate the plane quickly. We are then treated to a stunning one shot sequence following the soldiers as they parachute to the ground, surrounded by explosions, bullets and complete chaos.
Down on the ground, the team (what’s left of them) regroup and begin making their way towards the radio tower in order to carry out their mission. They have Nazi soldiers and landmines to contend with though, eventually coming across a local woman from the town they’re headed to, and she leads them back to the home she shares with her younger brother and poorly aunt. It turns out that the town is being terrorised by Nazi officers who are randomly killing the towns residents and then doing shocking things with them beneath the radio tower that our soldiers are seeking to destroy.
The thing about Ovelord, for me, is that it never goes full on crazy with all the zombie experiment stuff that they show you in the trailers. Up until this moment in the town, and throughout the rest of the movie to a certain degree, Overlord is basically just a really solid war story in a similar vein to something like Saving Private Ryan. An intense opening, a journey across enemy territory by a team of soldiers, some scenes within a war-torn village. Time is dedicated to introducing and developing the characters and, even if the odd one is a little bit stereotypical, the whole thing feels very well done and hugely enjoyable. It’s a fair while before you get any hint of anything more than that and when you do, it’s not a complete From Dusk Till Dawn style flip either. It’s not over the top and is in a similar tone and style to what’s come up until that point. I felt that made it all the more believable, and even more terrifying.
The practical effects relating to the creatures the Nazi soldiers are creating are extremely effective and disturbing at times. They had the desired effect of either making me squirm in my seat, jump out of my skin or grin from ear to ear at how cool it all was! I absolutely loved this movie. Brutal, intensely enjoyable and with a satisfying ending. Loved it.