Writing Movie “WRONGS”
By Jim West
Directed by Julius Avery
Written by Billy Ray and Mark L Smith
Two talented writers, an up and coming director, and produced by J.J. Abrams? You would think this would be a Grand Slam of an action horror film set during World War II. Instead this is a one watch solid effort with really nothing to improve upon the simple straightforward war horror story. I was pleasantly surprised there were minimal clichés and tropes of the horror genre. It is an okay film whose plot is stronger than the end result that is written and displayed.
Here comes the spoilers.
On the eve of D Day a unit of soldiers are tasked with destroying a radio tower in a village. We get some neat WW2 scenes to visual chew upon, but the main characters we get quickly acquainted with are Private Ed Boyce (Jovan Adepo) and Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell). Ford is brought in for this mission as he is a demolitions guy who is tasked with blowing up the German’s radio tower. They are on a tight timeframe as they have till morning to complete the mission ahead of the D Day battle of Normandy. Upon their arrival to France the plane gets shot down while more than half the unit dies. We get left with a handful of soldiers and there are some neat death scenes that come as a surprise. They come across a French girl named Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) who helps them on their mission. Boyce constantly refuses to immediately obey orders and given Ford’s no nonsense demeanor I expected more in keeping the chain of command, but for story’s sake I will let that slide. Through a series of events Boyce finds himself inside the underground laboratory beneath the church and radio tower. He discovers the German’s are experimenting with some sort of serum that brings the dead back to life. He escapes and tells Ford that they need to destroy the lab also. At first Ford is reluctant, but after they see the effects of the serum he is on board to destroy the lab along with the radio tower.
This is tightly edited with little waste of film, and although it would be nice to get more background of Boyce’s character to show why he doesn’t want to get his hands dirty with killing fast would lend more weight to when he does change in this regard during the second half of the film. The villain is okay and although I do not get the correlation of the title Overlord for the film how it plays into the story at all; I think the ending was a bit too clean. This is where I would make the only change. I would show how the explosion opened a wall leaking the tar substance into a slow stream headed towards a cemetery. Yes that is definitely cliché, but for a film that avoided almost every cliché it actually could use that one to good effect as Boyce is telling his commander there was nothing under the church. That leaves us with the eerie feeling of what happens next and people can talk about that when they leave the theater. Sometimes the imagination of what comes next is just as thrilling of what was seen.
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