‘Overlord’: slow segments plague this otherwise relatively fun film

“Overlord” is a World War II flick that has fun moments, but is ultimately a mixed bag.

I was incredibly excited to see this film. The premise sounded cool (Nazi occult experiments, schlockly action) and I had high expectations going in. While “Overlord” may definitely be a fun turn-off-your-brain flick, it is marred by problems that ultimately make it subjectively a missed opportunity.

The film centers around a group of American soldiers the evening before D-Day, sent to destroy a German radio tower.  The soldiers sent in inclue some of the central protagonists such as Boyce (Jovan Adepo), Ford (Wyatt Russell), and Tibbet (John Margaro). They’ll meet another central hero of the story Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), a civilian, and they all get embroiled in Nazis doing incredibly strange and cruel things. The protagonists aren’t the most original bunch, but I definitely enjoyed them all, especially Russell’s Ford and Ollivier’s Mathilde.

The film has a brilliant, action packed opening. It has some wonderful shots and is definitely one of the more intense openings I have seen in a movie this year. However, somewhere in between the end of that beginning segment and the middle of the film, it slows down drastically. The pacing was so odd and I would say this film could have benefited from having some time shaved off of it.

The cast is certainly an entertaining one, with Jovan Adepo taking center stage, but the characters fall victim to the horror movie trope of making incredibly dumb mistakes. This happens in “Overlord” an annoying amount of times. When these things occur in a film once, it’s passable, but reoccuring offenses create an issue.

The action and horror in this film is definitely sporadic, but when it does occur it is excellent. Gunfire between Nazis and the protagonists pack a loud punch that really leave a satisfying effect, and there are a few absolutely awesome and fun moments when the film gets into World War II action movie territory.

The horror is there, but I honestly think it’s not nearly enough. The special effects in this film are most definitely wonderful. I don’t know how it was done, but there were some gag inducing moments that are definitely to be remembered. I just wish these were more often and introduced sooner.

One argument I’ve seen online is that this film is more of a war film than a horror film. The film has some incredibly satisfying aspects of both, but when the film slows down it absolutely shows some weakness.

Overall, it’s well-made and has an interesting video game-type premise, but the movie really never fully goes Wolfenstein or goes all into action horror. It sort of dips its toes into both and leans mostly on the runtime of relying on the tension. I really wish this film went full “Evil Dead,” schlock gory horror. Don’t get me wrong, there were some awesome moments where I got the schlock I wanted, but slow middle portion of the film was too irritating to ignore.