Overlord (2018 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Julius Avery|
|Story by||Billy Ray|
|Music by||Jed Kurzel|
|Edited by||Matt Evans|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$41.7 million|
Overlord is a 2018 American war horror film directed by Julius Avery and written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith. It stars Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, John Magaro, Gianny Taufer, Pilou Asbæk, and Bokeem Woodbine. The film was produced by J. J. Abrams, through his Bad Robot Productions banner, and Lindsey Weber. The plot follows several American soldiers who are dropped behind enemy lines the day before D-Day and discover secret Nazi experiments.
Overlord was released in the United States on November 9, 2018, by Paramount Pictures. The film received positive reviews from critics and grossed over $41 million worldwide on a budget of $38 million.
On the eve of D-Day, the 5th of June, 1944, a paratrooper squad, led by Sergeant Rensin, is sent to destroy a German radio tower in an old church; however, their plane is shot down before they can reach their target, leaving only five apparent survivors; Corporal Ford and soldiers Boyce, Tibbet, Chase, and Dawson. Dawson is killed by a landmine but the team continues onward, running into a French woman named Chloe who agrees to take them into the village where the radio tower is located. The soldiers learn that Chloe lives with her 8-year-old brother Paul and her aunt, who has been disfigured by Nazi experiments taking place in the church. After Tibbet and Chase depart to check the scheduled rendezvous site, the remaining soldiers are forced to hide in the attic when a Nazi patrol performs a routine inspection. When SS Hauptsturmführer Wafner attempts to rape Chloe, Boyce and Ford capture him.
Attempting to reach the rendezvous point, Boyce witnesses the Nazis burning disfigured village residents. He is nearly caught by a dog and is forced to take refuge in a truck carrying the bodies of some of the other paratroopers. Once inside the base, Boyce learns that there are various experiments taking place in the lab, based around a mysterious liquid compound the Nazis discovered by distilling an ancient tar from under the church through human bodies. Boyce takes a sample of the serum and rescues Rosenfeld, another member of the paratrooper squad who was captured by the Nazis, and escapes the castle.
Back at the attic, Wafner refuses to explain what the serum is when questioned and is subsequently beaten by Ford. As the squad prepare to assault the church, Wafner attempts to escape, shooting and killing Chase in the process, driving Boyce to use the serum on Chase after his death. The serum restores Chase to life, but he immediately begins to mutate, showing inhuman strength, a resistance to gunfire, and turns hostile, forcing Boyce to pulverize Chase's head to stop him. In the midst of the chaos, Wafner escapes while taking Paul as a hostage, although part of his face is blown off by Ford in the subsequent shootout.
With time running out until the deadline when the radio tower must be destroyed, Boyce convinces Ford that destroying the laboratory has to be their priority. While Rosenfeld and Tibbet kill all the soldiers posted at the main entrance, Ford, Boyce, and Chloe enter the base through the sewers Boyce previously used to escape, with Boyce and Ford planting the explosives while Chloe rescues Paul. Ford is attacked by a mutated Wafner, who has injected himself multiple times with the substance, healing his injuries while driving him insane and overcome by power. When Boyce manages to distract Wafner, the injured Ford injects himself with another sample of the serum, allowing Boyce to blow Wafner down the pit where the compound was discovered with an explosion, but Ford then forces Boyce to leave him behind and finish setting off the dynamite, believing neither side should possess the serum. Boyce succeeds in blowing up the radio tower and the laboratory, narrowly escaping as the church and radio tower collapse.
After the destruction of the radio tower, Boyce reports to their superiors that Ford chose to plant the bombs inside the church rather than outside to ensure its destruction, choosing to avoid mentioning the serum or the lab. The military seemingly accepts this story and informs the soldiers that they will be reassigned to another company as the war continues.
- Jovan Adepo as Private First Class Ed Boyce, a paratrooper who uncovers the Nazi experiments below the church and radio tower.
- Wyatt Russell as Corporal Ford, a paratrooper and explosives expert who is vehemently against swaying from the mission to destroy the radio tower.
- Mathilde Ollivier as Chloe, Paul's sister and a French civilian who aides the stranded paratroopers.
- John Magaro as Private First Class Lyle Tibbet, a paratrooper and sniper.
- Pilou Asbæk as Captain Wafner, an SS Hauptsturmführer/Captain.
- Gianny Taufer as Paul, Chloe's younger brother
- Iain De Caestecker as Private Morton Chase, a paratrooper and photographer.
- Dominic Applewhite as Private First Class Jacob Rosenfeld, a paratrooper.
- Jacob Anderson as Private First Class Charlie Dawson, a paratrooper.
- Bokeem Woodbine as Sergeant Rensin.
- Erich Redman as Dr. Schmidt, head of the experimentation on French civilians and dead German soldiers.
- Patrick Brammall as American Officer.
- Mark McKenna as Murphy
The initial story for the film was conceived by J. J. Abrams and screenwriter Billy Ray, with Ray penning the script. Paramount acquired the film in 2017, and Mark L. Smith was brought in to polish the script. On February 1, 2017, Bad Robot Productions and Paramount Pictures announced that Julius Avery would direct the film.
Visual effects for the film were provided by Industrial Light & Magic, Pixomondo, Rodeo FX, Southbay and Nzviage. Mark Bakowski, Julian Foddy, Dan Seddon, Stefano Trivelli and Pauline Duvall served as visual effects supervisors.
Overlord was originally scheduled to be released on October 26, 2018. However, in July 2018, it was pushed back to November 9, 2018.
The film will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 19, 2019 and will be available on Digital HD from Amazon Video and iTunes on February 18, 2019.
Overlord grossed $21.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $20 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $41.7 million, against a production budget of $38 million.
In the United States and Canada, Overlord was released alongside The Girl in the Spider's Web and The Grinch, and was projected to gross $8–13 million from 2,859 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $3 million on its first day, including $900,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $10.1 million, finishing third at the box office. The film fell 62% in its second weekend to $3.9 million, finishing eighth.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80% based on 179 reviews and an average rating of 6.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Part revisionist war drama, part zombie thriller, and part all-out genre gorefest, Overlord offers A-level fun for B-movie fans of multiple persuasions." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 60 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it three out of five stars.
Amy Nicholson of Variety wrote "Even at its most suspenseful, when Jed Kurzel's cello score stabs at the eardrums, Overlord feels familiar, a collage of cinematic nightmares checking off its influences: a woman wielding a flamethrower like Ripley in Aliens, a cruel SS officer (the terrifically hissable Pilou Asbæk) who grins like a Batman villain, and enough of a Castle Wolfenstein video-game vibe that its fans may find themselves reaching for the controls out of habit." John DeFoe of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review, writing: "As the team moves in on the laboratory and the radio tower above it, Avery balances the truly disgusting with more comic-book-like action...Still, the movie's tone holds together, with the lurid colors of opening scenes (the cinematic equivalent of a gory, pre-code war comic book) setting the stage for heightened action to come."
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