Over­lord

The Guardian - G2 - - Reviews Film - PB

★☆☆☆☆

Dir

Julius Avery Jo­van Adepo, Wy­att Rus­sell, Bo­keem Wood­bine

Star­ring Length

110 mins

Cert

18 This grue­some film has ar­rived like some nasty new ver­sion of Call of Duty, des­tined to be played for days at a time by a re­gret­table, and clearly un­rep­re­sen­ta­tive, gam­ing sub­set of pale, dead-eyed lon­ers.

It is a bizarre, and weirdly hu­mour­less and ex­plicit ac­tion­hor­ror fan­tasy set in sec­ond world war – specif­i­cally just be­fore the D-day land­ings, hence the ti­tle, de­rived from Op­er­a­tion Over­lord.

Over­lord is writ­ten by Billy Ray (who scripted Cap­tain Phillips and The Hunger Games) and di­rected by Aus­tralian film-maker Julius Avery, work­ing from an orig­i­nal con­cept by pro­ducer JJ Abrams.

It is June 1944 and Jo­van Adepo plays Boyce, a young pri­vate in the 101st air­borne di­vi­sion of the US army. He and his bud­dies are parachuted into France on a mis­sion to dis­able a ra­dio tower, thus dis­rupt­ing the Nazis’ comms net­work and as­sist­ing the al­lied in­va­sion.

A more per­func­tory plot de­vice can hardly be imag­ined. But no mat­ter.

Hav­ing ar­rived in the night­mar­ish chaos of oc­cu­pied France, Boyce and his Dirty Half-Dozen pre­pare to ap­proach this church, only to make a strange dis­cov­ery: that it is the site of Nazi med­i­cal ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, turn­ing civil­ian pris­on­ers into uber-sol­diers in prepa­ra­tion for the forth­com­ing 1,000-year Re­ich.

There is some­thing deeply crass about this face­tious non­sense. Nazi med­i­cal ex­per­i­men­ta­tion was a very real thing, not just a death-me­tal hor­ror movie gag. Over­lord leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

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