12 February 2019

OVERLORD/2018

Overlord at first seems like it might be a great little action/horror film. I will say the photography is top notch. The idea of Nazi zombie experiments is not a new one and goes back a ways with many of the more well known ones being from the 70's and early 80's, like Shock Waves, Zombie Lake and Oasis of the Zombies. And there was a tradition before that and it has continued since. With Overlord the bigger budget of J.J. Abram's Bad Robot company hangs over you like a dangling carrot. Wow, at last, a high budget Nazi zombie film!  But in the end does it really ever deliver the real goods? I don't think so myself although it had some good moments.

The story involves a small band of American soldiers on the eve of D-Day on a mission in occupied France to blow up a radio tower in Nazi held town. I guess all towns in France at that time were Nazi held, but you get the point. The platoon or whatever you call it is mostly all wiped out from the get go and soon the few surviving soldiers meet a local French girl wandering in the war ravaged forest. They follow her back to her village where they begin their mission, but not without many complications along the way. Not the least being that the Nazis are creating Thousand Year Reich “super” soldiers (zombies basically) in the basement of the church. And no doubt these are formidable and scary zombies. What few we get to see. One would would think a Nazi zombie movies would have a few zombies in it. Well, it does. A few. Very few.

The movie gets sidetracked way too much with useless dialog and time killing sequences of essentially nothing happening at all. Characters running down dark corridors and around corners, huffing and puffing. The best part is the paratroop sequence at the beginning. It was really done well. After that there is too much babble and not enough action. And the talk is often boring, trying hard to develop characters I guess. Make you like them or know them. But it really does not make much sense to me. The Americans and British are parachuting a mile or two away and the Germans in the village seem lackadaisical at best, running about their routine affairs as if they have no clue what all the explosions and burning planes down the road are all about. The commander even deciding there would be no harm in chilling out with a bit of naughty dilly-dallying with the lovely French girl for a while. There is an invasion going on okay? I always thought the Germans were professional soldiers. The Americans aren't much better. Hey, lets play baseball with the annoying little French boy here! we'll keep it down when the Jerrys are in the next room though. 

People online are trying to make the movie into something it is not really, calling it a schlocky fun time. Like some sort of homage to old Nazi zombie movies, although the genre is actually very much alive and well in the low budget and straight to DVD realms. But it really did not strike me like that. An homage. There are cliches galore, like the mad scientist, the dungeon laboratories, the hypodermics with glowing serums inside, the evil operating tables and cells with crazed zombies clawing at the doors. But these are brief references really. Most of the film is all focused on the band of soldiers wrestling with, I don't know, different emotional issues that are not necessary to the story  at all. And that brings me to the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. Or if they do it is gloss over it or praise it. The film is a Hollywood PC propaganda turd and at the heart of it is all is inserting not only a person of color (two actually) into a situation where historically it would have never happened, but having the main character Boyce (Jovan Adepo), who is black, presented as the most moral and educated of the group. He can speak French. He defies direct orders when those orders goes against the higher ethical good. He risks all to rescue an imprisoned comrade. The French gal Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) is drawn to him because of his bravery and virtuous nature although no romantic moments occur. He calls out the mercurial Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell, Kurt's boy) when he starts punching the shit out of the kraut commander to get information.



And yet it is all a progressive Hollywood contrivance since blacks and whites in WWII were segregated. One can argue how unfair that was and yet it is reality. In this case the gritty platoon sergeant is black as well, played by Bokeem Woodbine. For me it just reeks of Hollywood wanting again to correct the grievous errors of the past. They see the solution to this as putting black characters into roles only a white person would be suited for and then having the storyline ignore race altogether. This would be the better world to live in for sure, but it is not the real world and I get tired of Hollywood and their blasted moral social crusade ruining potentially decent films. In other words, would there really be something "wrong" with having all white guys in the platoon, the way it would have been in the real world? A black character could have somehow been written in I guess, but why? Why is that necessary for this particular film? Why not have a couple black Nazis? Because that would have been silly of course. As this was. One can argue that zombies aren't real so why not have a black infantryman and platoon leader alongside white guys? Because there is a difference in accepting the impossible (i.e. that Thor and Asgard exist) and accepting the implausible (i.e. that some Norsemen and their gods and Valkyries are people of color). 

And to go back to an earlier complaint, there should have been more scary ass zombies running amok. More fighting and more carnage. Less French girl wrapping up Boyce's arm with bandages and going all googoo over the story of how he did not kill a mouse back in the barracks (because he he is so moral and decent you remember) and more Nazi zombies eating people's faces off! The zombies are good, but not all that scary if you only have to deal with like four or so in the entire film. Or maybe we could learn the backstory of how Chloe learned to use a German flame thrower on the fly? Yes the film looks nice. The cinematography and editing is very good. The effects are good when we get to see them. The zombies are pretty scary. The combat scenes are few and mediocre really but passable. But the focus of the film is off quite a bit and the film is not schlocky but it rather boringly agenda driven. I had hoped it might be something I would want to see again in the beginning. But I will not be watching it again. It is worth a watch and many people will not be bothered by the same things I am. They may only be upset that Idris Elba did not have a role in it somewhere.

Movie like this are why I am getting burned out with movies in general. Or at least newer films. Films with an agenda. That of fixing all that is wrong in the world of the evil white male. Okay, okay I get it already. I find myself watching a lot more older stuff and if I continue with this blog (as I am really burned out with movies anymore) I will most likely be writing about older movies again the way I used to. Movies with no meaning or agenda or message. Yea. At least the ones about Nazi zombies.

NOTE: With this movie post I decided I will cease writing about newer, modern films. I will go back to my original intentions with this blog and focus on what I call "psychotronic" films, referring to the term used by Michael J. Weldon. I am sick and tired of social justice Hollywood films that lack any fun. I lost my way I suppose. These new films just seem to make me angry with their obvious and absurd agendas. I am tired of watching them and tired of writing about them. 

Bill
18 Feb 2019












1 comment:

Dr Blood said...

I gave up on it halfway through. It reeked of formula at that point and I lost interest in the characters.

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