The Reel Review
Oh look! It’s another genre mashup from producer JJ Abrams (Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Super 8)! This time we get an intense, action-packed, WWII war drama wrapped inside zombie horror, when American paratroopers on a D-Day eve mission in German-occupied France discover a lab where Nazis are creating a super race of super strong, zombie soldiers that can’t be killed. (Think Inglorious Basterds meets Re-Animator.)
Yes, the story wildly strains the bounds of believability with a plot hole as large as the eventual one in the main villain’s head, but none of that matters, because as Nazi zombie horror goes, the first half of this film is a pulse-pounding, gore-filled good time, never taking itself too seriously and with solid performances from Jovan Adepo (Fences) as the soldier who can’t kill a mouse, Wyatt Russell (Everybody Wants Some!!, 22 Jump Street) as the badass squad leader, and relative newcomer Mathilde Ollivier as the young ingenue with a knack for flame throwers and machine guns.
By the third act the intense orgy of violence starts to veer into stupidsville, feeling more like a video game than a zombie film, but even so, it is still pretty entertaining.
• Wyatt Russell is the son of Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn
• The film used more practical effects than CGI, to get a better reaction out of the cast during the gruesome scenes (and there are plenty)
• Villain Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy in HBO’s Game of Thrones) says his leather jacket in the film is an homage to Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds