Take one part "Inglorious Basterds", one part "Raiders of the Lost Ark", a dash of Michael Mann's little seen "The Keep", mix in the undead and buckets of blood and hyper-violence and you get OVERLORD.
The opening 15 minutes are fantastic.
A plane full of American soldiers are packed into a plane, heading towards Germany to destroy a radar installation and clear the way for the D-Day invasion.
Jovan Adepo (Fences) is Boyce, fresh off the farm and terrified.Ian De Caestecker (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) is a young photographer ready to capture heroics and John Magaro (The Big Short) is Tibbett, the New Yorka with the big accent and the attitude.
Wyatt Russell (son of Kurt & Goldie) is Ford, the explosives expert and leader of the mission.
In the most harrowing, realistic and explosive opening war sequence since "Saving Private Ryan", the plane is shot up, hundreds of planes around it are exploding and our soldiers plummet out of the plane.
The special effects are fantastic, the camera spiraling down with Boyce as he free-falls and then opens his chute, plunging into a lake in Nazi territory.
The sound effects and music score by Jed Kurzel (The Babadook) are excellent, working together to literally push you back in your seat. Kurzel's score is all cellos, tearing through you as the violence explodes. This is as good an opening sequence as I've seen in recent memory.
Our surviving troops on the ground are just getting started as they advance toward the church in the small Nazi occupied village.
They meet a young French woman Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) who provides strong echoes of Melanie Laurent as Shosanna in "Basterds".
There's something very strange going on inside the church. These Nazis are performing bizarre experiments with horrifying results, all graphically portrayed.
Pilou Asbaek (Game of Thrones) is Wafner, very cruel commander of the Reich brigade.
The first hour plays like a terrific WW2 thriller.
The last hour is a full-on, Grindhouse gore fest as our soldiers must get past the Nazis and their experiments lurking in the basement.
DirectorJulius Avery creates great tension and suspense, with enough jump scares to satisfy horror buffs and enough full on action to make thriller fans happy.
There are some good one-liners along the way, along with some painful ones.
A long sequence in which Boyce finds himself inside the church and wandering through the basement ratchets up the suspense and horror for what seems like 20 minutes and Boyce's final scene in the church is a blast, nearly equaling the opening in its photography and explosives.
It's one of the most violent movies I've seen in a long time. Maybe Avery wanted to OUT-Tarantino the man himself and he gives it his all. There are hand-to-hand combat scenes that are bone crushingly real and go on forever, but never too long.
The scene with Chase (De Caestecker) making his surprising recovery is hilarious, reminding me of one of my favorite scenes in John Carpenter's "The Thing" in all the right ways.
I hope no one walks into this thinking its a WW2 film. They are in for one hell of a ride!
I had a great time with OVERLORD. It's an explosive, fast moving, B-movie with style, carefully polished under the steady hands of producer JJ Abrams.
Just go and hang on, horror buffs, the Super-Nazis are coming for you, fast and furious!
OVERLORD gets an A-.