After watching this, I read some rumours that Overlord somehow existed in the emerging Cloververse (alongside Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox). That ought to give you some indication as to the kind of movie it is, which is an insight I wish I had prior to sitting down to watch this. I generally like to go in totally blind when watching a film, whether it is a science fiction one or not. That way I don’t get clouded by the hype – or the hate – in forming my own judgment of the title. The problem with this in the case of Overlord is that I was expecting a fully blown military film, which begins by introducing us to an American hotshot soldier entering the French theatre at the height of World War Two.
Indeed, for the first portion of the movie, it plays out exactly like a standard) wartime romp, albeit a somewhat camp and cliché one. Not too long after, it transpires that there’s more than meets the eye to this particular division of Nazi soldiers, and eventually the story descends into wild fantasy, complete with otherworldly monsters and superhuman powers. It of course features Joseph Mengele-inspired experiments aimed at creating megasoldiers, with all the hybrid failures you might expect along the way… and it’s down to the good ol’ Americans to put things right.
It’s all delivered in a rather silly way, and it’s difficult to figure out how firmly the filmmakers’ tongues are in their cheeks. Taken as a Cabin in the Woods style pastiche, I think it aims to secure a pass as an entertaining playground of overblown ‘fuck the nazis’ fantasy fun. You know, like a knowingly crappy movie that plays on its own crappiness for the laughs. However, there are far too many moments where it strays into taking itself a little too seriously, meaning Overlord starts to feel like a crappy movie that is exactly that: a crappy movie.
Ultimately, the lighthearted side isn’t entertaining, original or interesting enough to justify tolerating just how stupid Overlord often is. Probably best avoided.