Reviewed by: Keith Rowe
The horror of wars
war in the Bible
What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer
Nazi occultism—both real and in fiction
The fictional ability to use a serum to reanimate the the dead
What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible
What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer
What is ETERNAL LIFE? Answer
What is ETERNAL DEATH? Answer
What is effect of very gory, extreme violence and torture in movies?
|Featuring:||Jovan Adepo … Pvt. Boyce, a paratrooper
Iain De Caestecker … Chase
Wyatt Russell … Cpl. Ford, an explosives expert and paratrooper
Mathilde Ollivier … Chloe, a civilian who aides the stranded paratroopers
Pilou Asbæk … Dr. Wafner, a Nazi officer
John Magaro … Tibbet, a paratrooper
Jacob Anderson … Dawson
Dominic Applewhite … Rosenfeld
See all »
See all »
Paramount Pictures Corporation
They say honesty is the best policy. In that case, I need to be honest from the start… this isn’t my kind of movie.
But if I’m being totally honest, I feel like I’ve been the victim of a bait-and-switch. When I signed up to review this movie, I thought “Overlord,” the J.J. Abrams produced WWII tale, was going to be a straightforward action movie. Then I saw the trailer and thought, “What in the world have I gotten myself into?”
The movie’s premise is straightforward… a group of American soldiers parachute into France on the eve of D-Day. Their objective is simple; sneak into a French village under the cover of darkness and take out the radio tower that sits atop a church building.
However, when the American soldiers infiltrate the church, they discover many living and dead people who have been mutated by evil alchemy in the makeshift dungeon. To accomplish their mission, the American troops must engage in a series of gun battles with Nazis while evading fast-moving zombies that lurk in the claustrophobic corridors of the church.
From that brief description, you’ve guessed right that “Overlord” is a mash-up of “Saving Private Ryan” and “I Am Legend.” Although the movie has some semblance of a plot, the novelty of its premise wears thin around the story’s midpoint. Writers Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith weave their paltry plot among the tapestry of overblown action sequences and zombie brawls.
“Overlord” is directed by Julius Avery, a virtual unknown who has only directed one other feature-length film. The cast is populated with newcomers, bit players, and journeyman character actors with nary a star among the bunch. Other than the intrigue of its premise, Abrams’ name is the movie’s only real draw.
The movie’s theme is as obvious as its premise: the dangers of playing God. Although taken to unrealistic extremes, you can totally see how Hitler would sanction such a diabolical plan to create super-soldiers. Although the “1,000 Years of the Reich” program is an interesting concept, the zombie subplot is flagrant revisionist history and is only in the story to provide thrills and chills.
Due to its R-rating and numerous graphic elements, let’s get right to the movie’s…
“Overlord” has an excessive amount of violence, swearing and disturbing images.
As for expletives, they’re as abundant as bullets in the movie. Due to loud explosions, I may have missed an occasional swear word, but of the ones I heard, there are 25+ f-words and 19 utterances of s**t. There are over a dozen instances of characters taking God or Jesus’ names in vain (“J*sus Chr*st,” “H*ly Chr*st,” “G*d-d*mn,” etc.). The movie contains a potpourri of profanities and the following curse words are heard: h**l (6), d**n (2), a** (3), b**ch (2), and b**tard.
The story includes two attempted rapes of a French woman by German soldiers. The first scene shows a kneeling man positioning his head underneath the folds of the woman’s dress and reaching up to grope her. The second scene has a soldier throwing the woman down on a bridge and forcing himself on top of her. Fortunately, both scenes abruptly conclude before the audience is subjected to nudity or a sex scene.
Since the violence is so extreme, I’ll try to be as euphemistic as possible in describing the movie’s parade of carnage and bloodletting—which will be a challenge.
Right out of the gate, there’s an intense sequence where the plane carrying our heroes comes under fire: flak from an anti-aircraft gun explodes all around the plane, which is also being riddled with bullets from an enemy plane’s machine guns. One passenger is wounded by the hail of bullets. During the sequence, a soldier becomes nauseous from the plane’s violent jarring and vomits on the floor.
After parachuting into France, an American soldier shoots a German captive in the head without hesitation or compunction. In turnabout fashion, a German soldier viciously shoots a woman through the head.
Another horrific scene is when people who died from a failed experiment are carted out of the church, dumped into a ditch and scorched with a flamethrower. The character who witnesses the revolting bonfire, jumps into the back of a troop transport to avoid capture, but lands on top of a pile of grotesquely marred corpses.
We catch glimpses of disfigured and mutated humans inside the cells in the church’s basement. The surgery room contains mutilated corpses and several experiments gone wrong, like a talking woman who only has a head and spinal column (which is much more macabre than the initial image of the bodiless Borg Queen in “Star Trek: First Contact”). Moments later, in an exceedingly gross scene, an American soldier pulls a skewer out of another man’s chest.
After being stabbed with a knife, a Nazi is hoisted up in the attic of a house. An American soldier tortures the man when he fails to divulge any information. The ultra brutal scene escalates from bare fists to brass knuckles to a knife.
The wounded German soldier shoots an American officer who is resurrected with a dose of the Nazi super-serum. The mutation process is quite hideous and the ensuing melee is uber-violent, climaxing with a fellow soldier beating the zombie’s head to a pulp.
During a skirmish between American and German forces, the side of one man’s face is blown off by a bullet. Another man becomes a human bomb when a grenade is duct taped inside his mouth. An elaborate, protracted shoot-out at the church’s gate depicts many bodies being punctured with bullets, which creates splatters of blood.
A woman shoots an officer in the forehead when he refuses to give her information. Then she sees the gory tableau of a person who’s been cut in half. On her way out of the church, the woman encounters a zombie, which she shoots in the head several times. She ultimately defeats her rapidly-healing assailant by incinerating it with a flamethrower.
The violence just keeps coming as a scientist is stabbed with a scalpel, an American officer is impaled in the abdomen with a hook, and a zombie is run through the chest with a pipe. Again, apologies for the gruesome details, but hopefully this will serve as a warning to stay away from this film and to watch something that’s more in line with Philippians 4:8.
One area of the movie that’s commendable is its production. From the opening CG shot of the Allied fleet to the pyrotechnics and FX, to the costumes and creature makeup, “Overlord” is a well-crafted movie. It’s to Avery’s credit that he only sparingly resorts to standard horror gimmicks, like characters suddenly appearing in front of the camera to startle the audience.
In the final analysis, “Overlord” is a war/horror hybrid that’s unabashedly graphic. From start to finish, the movie is gratuitous for the sake of being gratuitous. Though “Overlord” is a unique film, it certainly isn’t a great one.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.