“Overlord” combines the action of a World War II war film with the gory horror of a zombie film.
The first half of “Overlord” is a fairly standard WWII film. The plot follows a group of paratroopers tasked with destroying a Nazi radio tower to secure air support for the invasion of Normandy beach the following morning. After their plane is shot down, the land behind enemy lines in the forests of France. After regrouping, they make their way to the village where the radio tower is located. With the help of a French civilian named Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier), the soldiers are able to infiltrate the village and capture Nazi officer Captain Wafner (Pilou Asbæk).
It is during the second half of the film the movie switches from tense WWII film to a gory zombie horror film. This switch occurs when the films main character, Private Ed Boyce (Jovan Adepo) sneaks into the Nazi-occupied church that contains the radio tower. While searching for a way to return to his squad, Boyce comes across a series of Nazi experiments aimed at reanimating the dead to create an unstoppable army for Hitler.
After escaping the Nazi stronghold, Boyce returns to his platoon with a sample of the Nazi-revival serum, only for Wafner to escape after killing Boyce’s squadmate and being seriously injured by Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell). Wafner returns to the laboratory and injects himself with the zombie serum, giving him superhuman strength and longevity. Meanwhile, with the D-Day invasion drawing closer, Boyce and the remain members of the platoon decide to assault the Nazi stronghold to destroy the radio tower and the laboratory.
Boyce and his platoon split up, with two members remaining outside to draw the Nazi’s attention while Boyce and Cpl. Ford infiltrate the base to set explosives throughout the base. After splitting up, Ford is ambushed by Wafner and mortally wounded. Boyce eventually comes and rescues Ford, giving him a chance to inject himself with the serum. Ford then pushes Boyce out of the room and locks the door, forcing the now superhuman Ford and Wafner into a fight while Boyce escapes and blows the lab to smithereens.
Having accomplished their mission, Boyce and the surviving members join with the successful D-Day invasion, promising to keep the details of their mission a secret to prevent the discovery of the revival serum.
The movie has some flaws, such as a lack of action that the trailer presented, but the film does have redeeming qualities. Its characters are all likeable and well acted, and Asbæk does a fantastic job as vilifying someone in one of the most evil regimes in human history. And for a film focusing on one of the most destructive wars ever fought, the film manages to create a unique tone, much like the film itself.
Overall, the movie works as a new and unique twist on the WWII film genre. However, the film suffers from pacing and marketing issues, as the trailer showcased a much faster paced and action filled film then the final release. But overall, the film is a good watch for any fan of both WWII and zombie films.