As I’ve often claimed, Toronto After Dark is one of my all time favorite film festivals, and I was bummed this year when the J.J. Abrams produced WWII action horror film, Overlord, closed out the festival. But, I finally got a chance to see it, as it comes home on blu-ray and DVD today from Paramount Pictures, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
If you know anything about the After Dark film festival you know it specializes in genre films, and consequently I knew before I sat down to watch it that there would be more than Nazi-punching and gunfire in this film, so I was totally ready for all the bloody violence, and the monstrous discovery made by the American infantry (members of the 101st apparently – though there were a few technical errors I could point out there, it didn’t dissuade me from total enjoyment).
Set on the eve of D-Day June 6, 1944, Operation: Overlord featured the insertion of airborne teams behind enemy lines to help secure lines of transit, and help the Allies take the beaches. Unfortunately, a number of the planes were shot down, and those who did make the jump ended up hell and gone from where they were supposed to be.
A team of infantry, including Ford (Wyatt Russell), and Boyce (Jovan Adepo) find themselves the sole squad with their orders, take out a radio tower atop a church. But what they discover there is truly horrific and must be stopped.
From the retro opening titles you can just tell this is going to be a b-movie acting like an a-movie, and supported with a-level special effects. If you recognize that, you can’t help but settle in for a good time.
There are so many tropes of World War II films at work in this film, the beautiful French girl, Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) who can kick your ass, the sniper who hates kids but bonds with them anyway (and we know what that may mean for the character), and of course villainous Nazis, and scientists.
This is just a loud, fun ride, which brushes up and nudges the realities of war, but never enough to take away from the popcorn nature of the film.
The extras include a series of featurettes strung together or watchable separately that takes us behind the scenes of the production of the film. The blu-ray looks and sounds great, colors, explosions, images all sharp and supremely enjoyable.
I am desperately sorry I missed seeing this at After Dark, as I can just imagine how the audience would have reacted (TAD audiences tend to be the best audiences) but I am delighted to be able to add this one to my collection, and watch repeatedly at my leisure.
Check it out today on blu-ray and DVD from Paramount Pictures! SO GOOD!