(US - 2018)
Directed by Julius Avery. Written by Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith. Cast: Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Pilou Asbaek, Mathilde Ollivier, John Magaro, Bokeem Woodbine, Iain De Caestecker, Dominic Applewhite, Jacob Anderson, Gianny Taufer, Erich Redman, Meg Foster. (R, 110 mins)
Long-rumored to be another installment in executive producer J.J. Abrams' CLOVERFIELD universe, OVERLORD is not, perhaps thankfully so after the toxic reception given to the disastrous Netflix dumpjob THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX earlier this year. Set in 1944 in the hours leading up to "Operation Overlord," the D-Day invasion of Normandy, OVERLORD is a solid throwback to '80s-style horror that's equal parts BAND OF BROTHERS, THE DIRTY DOZEN, RE-ANIMATOR, THE KEEP, the WOLFENSTEIN video game series, and John Carpenter's THE THING. The Carpenter element is mainly in its third-act siege scenario, some periodic thumping synth beats, and the presence of Wyatt Russell, Kurt Russell's look-and-sound-alike son with Goldie Hawn. Young Russell's been plugging away for some years now, with showy supporting roles in COLD IN JULY, EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!, and INGRID GOES WEST, but this is the first time his casting is a deliberate homage to his legendary dad. The day before the planned Normandy invasion, a squadron of Army paratroopers is shot down over France en route to destroy a German radio tower atop a church in an occupied France village in order to shut down enemy communication prior to the operation. The plane goes down with a few survivors, but their commander, Sgt. Eldson (Bokeem Woodbine) is killed by German officers, leaving the rest to carry out the mission: second-in-command Cpl. Ford (Russell), quiet Boyce (Jovan Adepo of FENCES), loudmouth Noo Yawk smartass Tibbet (John Magaro as Leo Gorcey), photographer Chase (Iain De Caestecker), and aspiring writer Dawson (Jacob Anderson), who doesn't last long thanks to a mine.