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'Overlord' offers A-level fun for B-movie fans

Ana Cecilia Regalado
Ana Cecilia Regalado

Journalist, spends most of her personal time being a millennial

Jakarta  /  Thu, November 8, 2018  /  10:35 am

For anyone familiar with Nazis and the fascination with “Nazi zombies” or the idea of Nazis experimenting to create zombies, JJ Abrams’ Overlord would appear to be a perfectly enjoyable movie with a new take on the much exhausted genre. Though the reasoning behind the title is nonexistent in the plot of the movie.

However, the movie is very poorly marketed as being strictly horror and is more of an action movie with very dark humorous undertones, because of its setting in World War II.

If I had to describe Overlord, it would be like playing the Zombie Army Trilogy with your closest friends.

In other words you’ll freak out and be horrified and absolutely terrified as a “n00b” to the game (or in this case, movie), but eventually you’ll get the hang of knowing you’re absolutely doomed. Once you reach the point of “being done” with everything, you’ll have quite a bit of fun with bad attempts at morbid humor because of the horrible situation you’re in with your buddies. In the end, it’s all smiles and a great feeling of wanting to go home and pick up a console or hang out longer.

The characters in this movie are actually decently written. Though there are obvious archetypes: the tough guy, the strong silent type, the fodder, the goody two shoes, the chatty one and so on. There is a surprising lack of over-the-top heroism and despite the situation (which is a plus in my opinion), it feels real enough to eventually like the characters, no matter how unlikeable they were in the beginning (for myself anyway).

My personal favorite is a character named Ford, played by Wyatt Russell. It’s obvious from the beginning that his character has seen it all. In the end though, despite doing his best to be unlikeable, he is obviously not a bad guy.

The movie, however, seems a little confused--it does start off being eerie and extremely dark, but ends on a light, somewhat ridiculously cheery note usually reserved for superhero movies. There are also parts of the movie that are extremely obvious. Someone who is more experienced with the zombie genre will be wondering when they are going to reveal the very obvious zombie around the corner. Also, jumpscares are overdone and unnecessary. Despite being a flawed movie, it is enjoyable.  

Read also: ‘Star Wars’ spin-offs take a backseat

That said, the censorship is also mishandled. Scenes of gunfire that were perfectly fine given the 17+ rating have been completely cut out, whereas a scene that is very much going to be a rape is perfectly intact. This is highly disappointing for someone who enjoys seeing Nazis (actual Nazis, not the NPC-kind) get got. If you’re going to enjoy Overlord at its fullest, try watching it in a country with very little or no censorship.

Another pleasant surprise is how Abrams handles the focus of the movie, despite it obviously being about zombies from the movie poster. I won’t spoil anything, but just know that this is a refreshing new perspective on what usually ends up feeling like a B-movie genre (meaning, anything with zombies in it).

I personally am hoping that this serves as an example to other directors and producers wanting to try their hand at the Nazi zombie/WWII genre.

However, next time Abrams might want to check for anime titles. If the comments section of the Overlord movie trailer is anything to judge by; he should have picked a movie name that wasn’t the same as a very popular anime that just finished its third season this summer. Sorry fellow otaku, but Papa Bone Daddy isn’t here, and that’s not a spoiler. (wng)

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.