On the eve of D-Day, the Allied Forces are hopeful of bringing the Second World War to an end. Standing in the way of success is the most powerful German radio tower in France. To knock it out, a squad of paratrooper goes behind enemy lines.
Fresh out of training, Boyce (Jovan Adepo: Mother!) plummets to earth amid gunfire and explosion detritus. Surviving the drop, he hooks up with remaining members of his team: Hardened soldier Ford (Wyatt Russell: Lodge 49); war photographer Chase (Iain De Caestecker: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.); and new recruits Tibbet (John Magaro: Jack Ryan) and Rosenfeld (Dominic Applewhite: The Crown).
The reduced force must find a way to sneak in before the Allies attempt the beaches. On reconnaissance, Boyce enters the radio tower only to discover dangers far worse than imagined. To create supersoldiers impervious to damage and death, the Nazis have created monsters that seemingly can’t be killed.
A pretty great war movie before the zombies show up, Overlord is also an entertaining horror movie. Clever cinematography, gnarly special effects and lively performances rise above the typically low bar we set for horror movies.
Director Julius Avery (Son of a Gun) combines tense action with good storytelling to craft a unique fusion of genres. Cinematographers Laurie Rose (Journeyman) and Fabian Wagner (Game of Thrones) cooperate to create exceptional sequences. Boyce’s POV as he falls through the chaos of an active air battle is breathtaking. The film also boasts plenty of practical effects instead of CGI, which gives all the grit and gore both weight and authenticity.
Actors add a kick of credibility with great character moments. As Ford, Russell invokes memories of his father Kurt, scowling and snarling his way through what could have been a drab role. Pilou Asbaek (Game of Thrones) is maniacally entertaining as a Nazi nemesis.
Overlord is not free from flaws. Adepo’s storyline follows the cliché of the wide-eyed idealistic private who learns the hard facts of war. But there’s enough fresh camera work — and zombie kills — to make the movie fun. A sequence of a soldier transitioning into a zombie was so hilariously gruesome it had the whole audience screaming. If you’re a fan of clever filmmaking or elevated zombie fare, Overlord is well worth the ticket.
Good Horror Movie • R • 110 mins.
~~~ New this Week ~~~
Light-heavyweight champion Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) is tasting success in the ring and at home. A new challenger threatens to take it all away.
Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), son of the boxer who killed Creed’s father in the ring, challenges Creed to a match.
Creed’s longtime mentor and trainer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) fears that history will be repeated.
A rehash of Rocky IV, Creed II will be either a wonderful tribute to the Rocky franchise or a crushing disappointment. While the first Creed broke new ground in storytelling, this story seems familiar and the outcome pre-ordained.
Still, if you’re a fan of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), one of the greatest villains in the Rocky franchise, it should be a treat to watch him square off against Stallone. If you’re looking for rock ‘em sock ‘em entertainment after a contentious Thanksgiving, Creed II should be well worth a round or two.
Prospects: Flickering • PG-13 • 130 mins.
Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) is a sheltered, childish woman. She fritters about her castle with her favorite companion, Lady Churchill (Rachel Weisz), ignoring matters pertaining to her country, like the raging war.
Feeling neglected when Churchill takes an interest in the war effort, Queen Anne finds a new companion in servant Abigail (Emma Stone), who has an agenda of her own. With the three women competing for control, the court and the country hang in the balance.
A political dramedy about the power women wield and the intricacies of building relationships, The Favourite has an interesting premise and fine. Actresses. It should be entertaining to watch them spar. If you’re a fan of Yorgos Lanthimos and his odd brand of comedy or of nuanced character pieces and satire, you’re likely to find this movie engaging.
Prospects: Bright • R • 119 mins.
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Video-game villain Ralph (John C. Reilly) has learned that being a bad guy in a game doesn’t mean he has to be one in life. When friend Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) fears the internet is stealing kids from the arcade, Ralph offers help.
Together, Ralph and Vanellope venture into the internet, where they
discover a new world of wonders and horrors.
The sequel to the sweet and underrated Wreck It Ralph promises a fascinating take on internet culture. Featuring emotionally deep characters and incisive commentary, it should please both kids and adults.
Prospects: Bright • PG • 114 mins.
Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) and Little John (Jamie Foxx) return from the Crusades to find their beloved England a mess. The rich are getting richer, while the poor are being run into the ground so the rich can afford their lifestyle. Robin and Little John stage a revolt.
In retaliation, the crown and nobility vow to capture Robin and his band of thieves at any cost. The battle for control of England takes to the streets.
Robin Hood copies director guy Ritchie’s frenetic hyper-masculine style, but leaves out the snappy dialogue.
Prospects: Dim • PG-13 • 116 mins.