Nearing D-Day, American soldiers are being flown into the battlefield. After their plane is shot down, they form an unlikely ally, while one of them begins to discover that the Nazis have been kidnapping Americans and experimenting on them in bizarre ways. This movie asks a lot of you throughout the second and third acts, as it sets it up as a war film, but pulls the rug out from under you as the movie progresses. As I mentioned, this film is part war, part sci-fi, and part horror, and those genres surprisingly blend together very well and this movie never keeps you waiting. The pacing of this film is easily the aspect that stood out the most to me.
A premise like this can easily be chuckled at, but the fact that it begins as a war film, turns into a sci-fi film, and ends up being a horror movie, makes for a very interesting experience. From the second this film started, I felt riveted. Whether you're into an action sequence, a comedy bit, or on the edge of your seat to see who will make it out alive, there's absolutely no downtime. I'm not saying some movies don't need or deserve to be three hours long, but this is a perfect example of a film that utilizes the perfect amount of time needed to tell its story. Giving just the right amount of characters development to most of the crew, just the right amount of horror to not turn off the action junkies who just came for that, and hardly any drawn-out scenes of characters conversing, at 105 minutes, there isn't a single moment where you can take a break and then come back, not having missed something.
Although Julius Avery does a very solid job in terms of direction, it's the combination of a tight script by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith and the frenetic editing by Matt Evans that truly shine here. To me, the overall outcome of the pacing of this film originated with those two elements. On top of that, you have a great cast to keep your audience engaged. While I haven't heard of many of these performers in the past, I can see them receiving quite a few jobs in the near future. For what this film was trying to be, I really can't find many things to complain about here.
In the end, Overlord shocked me with how much I actually enjoyed it. The premise itself should make for a bad On Demand release that most people would forget about, but there's a lot of effort put into this movie. The overall story itself may be its biggest issue, due to the fact that there are flaws within the plans of what the Nazis are plotting, but that was a minor nitpick in the grand scheme of things. Personally, I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish and I highly recommend this movie to those who can handle the three genres of war, sci-fi, and horror. Overlord is tightly paced and full of energy.
P.S. If anyone has moderate to severe PTSD from being in combat, there are several triggers.
*AMC A-List #36