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On the eve of D-Day, the 5th of June, 1944, several American paratroopers are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion's success: destroy a radio tower built in a little castle of an old French town that the Third Reich uses for communication between Berlin & Normandy beaches' bunkers. Due to the intense enemy fire, the planes are shot down & most soldiers die in the landing or are killed by the Nazis' night patrols after landing. However, a private named Ed Boyce survives to find Corporal Ford, a last-minute incorporation from Italy and a veteran expert in bombs and explosives; Tibbet, a rogue sniper; Chase, a war photographer; and finally private Dawson. After they watch the killing of their superior Sargeant Eldson by a Nazi night patrol, Ford is the mission leader of the group and they try to get the town with the tower. Almost to the town they meet Chloe, a villager who assists the soldiers In her home with her elderly aunt & little brother, Paul....Written by
The only African-American airborne outfit was the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (Triple Nickles). Although the unit was ready for combat, it came close to being used in the Battle of the Bulge but that crisis passed and the unit never went overseas or saw combat. See more »
There's a lot of soldiers out there and there's only four of us.
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After the film was given the restricted R18+ rating in Australia, Paramount Pictures decided to edit out almost 1 minute of footage to lessen the violence. The subsequent re-submission got the film a more accessible MA15+ rating. It is believed that the film will be fully restored for its home entertainment release. See more »
A great blend of genres (each done well) - shame about the final 30 mins
If you want to go in to watching this film without seeing the trailer, then don't read any reviews - including this one. There are no spoilers beyond what the trailer shows.
I make that opening claim because if you hadn't seen the trailer, you wouldn't know of the dual-genre nature of Overlord. The genre shift to full-blown 'zombies-but-not-quite' action comes after 75 minutes of truly brilliant wartime drama with some moderate scares. The opening scenes of the paratroopers entrance to the war-torn French countryside is a particular highlight for its chaotic, intense and disorientating depiction of what it must've been like for those who did the deed for real in WW2.
The horror element begins to build early on but is never an indication of the upcoming genre shift (if you've not seen the trailer, at least) until the point (From Dusk to Dawn style) where it's made clear that we're not in Kansas anymore. The only bummer I can think of is the film falls into the trap of a predictable final 30 minutes. With all the enjoyment had before then, it's so disappointing to feel let down at the last hurdle.
The soundtrack is immense, the cinematography is brooding without being dark (a style which works for both of the film's genres), and the CGI special effects are affectingly convincing. Don't expect great things from the script (which includes several awful one-liner comebacks), but I think this film will go down as one of the great zombie films of recent years, and may even be noted for its even better turn as a war film.
Best quote: "What is this?!" - "Our greatest achievement. With it, we create super-Nazis; a thousand year army and it's thousand year soldiers."
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