Set during the Second World War, Overlord follows several soldiers (including Jovan Adepo’s Boyce and Wyatt Russell’s Ford) as they arrive in a small French village to carry out a seemingly simple mission but soon find themselves face-to-face with a much more sinister threat. There’s little doubt that the first half of Overlord comes off, for the most part, as a fairly standard WWII drama, as filmmaker Julius Avery has infused this portion of the proceedings with an almost generic feel that’s reflected in its various attributes – with, especially, the character types and action-oriented moments seemingly emerging directly from a template for pictures of this ilk. (It’s all quite well done, admittedly, yet the been-there-done-that feel is unmistakable.) The movie’s eventual shift into sci-fi territory, as a result, doesn’t fare quite as well as one might’ve hoped, as much of the individual set-pieces contained within this stretch are, like everything preceding it, just a little too run-of-the-mill for comfort. (This is despite an absolutely jaw-dropping sequence detailing an apparent death and its aftermath, with the high-intensity of this interlude ultimately a rarity within the otherwise static production.) The padded-out running time of 110 minutes ensures that Overlord stumbles towards its rather anticlimactic and underwhelming conclusion, which ultimately does confirm its place as a disappointingly half-baked horror endeavor that could (and should) have been so much better.

** out of ****

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