‘Over­lord’: Op­er­a­tion is not ac­com­plished

Stamford Advocate - - Diversions - By Michael Or­doña

Over­lord Rated: R for strong bloody vi­o­lence, dis­turb­ing im­ages, lan­guage, and brief sex­ual con­tent. Run­ning time: 109 min­utes. out of 4

Nazis! Zom­bies! Nazi zom­bies! Sounds awe­some, right? Un­for­tu­nately, the movie that just un­spooled in your head is likely bet­ter than “Over­lord."

The J.J. Abrams-pro- duced war/sci-fi/hor­ror flick takes that fun premise and goes nowhere. Not that it’s a new idea: “Dead Snow” and “Call of Duty” are among the best-known such movies and videogames. “Over­lord,” how­ever, is too pre­dictable to elicit the fun of ei­ther.

Sen­si­tive para­trooper Boyce ( Jo­van Adepo) and a few bud­dies, along with mys­te­ri­ous new guy Ford (Wy­att Rus­sell), drop be­hind en­emy lines in ad- vance of the in­va­sion of Nor­mandy. They meet a — what else — gor­geous French girl (Chloe, played by Mathilde Ol­livier) who vir­tu­ously hates her some Nazis. While the movie lacks the retro style of its cred­its, it’s old-fash­ioned in one way: Th­ese Nazis are

not very fine peo­ple. The good guys run afoul of Wafner (Pilou As­bæk of “Game of Thrones”), the most evil of th­ese evil Nazis. Next thing you know, they’re break­ing into an evil lab where evil ex­per­i­ments are be­ing con­ducted, and … voilà!

The en­joy­ment one wants from G.I.s fight­ing in­hu­man mon­sters — and zom­bies — is stunted by the film’s lack of en­ergy and imag­i­na­tion. Di­rec­tor Julius Av­ery goes to the star­tle-scare early and of­ten. Ev­ery turn, ev­ery beat feels too fa­mil­iar. The writ­ers didn’t bother re­search­ing pe­riod lingo. Char­ac­ters do id­i­otic things to en­able plot de­vices. The scream­ing and gun­fire seem

ex­ces­sive for a stealth mis­sion. And the whole un­dead thing sim­ply doesn’t pay off. At least the makeup ef­fects are quite good.

Rus­sell has in­her­ited dad Kurt’s steely-eyed, mean­guy-on-a-mis­sion cred. As­bæk is fun, Ol­livier is sym­pa­thetic. But lead Adepo is ap­par­ently di­rected to play much of the film wideeyed and mouth agape; there are no lev­els for Boyce, so none for us ei­ther.

“Over­lord” leaves a wealth of pos­si­bil­i­ties un­mined. One imag­ines it was more com­pelling as pitch, than fin­ished prod­uct.

Michael Or­doña is a Los An­ge­les-based free­lance writer.

Para­mount Pic­tures / TNS

Jo­van Adepo, left, stars as Boyce and Do­minic Ap­ple­white is Rosen­feld in a scene from “Over­lord.”

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