This is a spoiler-free review of Suzerain.
Supposing The grinch not very well differently than I thought, Suzerain is the only movie in theaters this weekend that will make you mourn the death of a character, then encourage you to have that character die a second time in 60 seconds flat.
JJ Abrams produced a WWII horror / action film, originally rumor being an addition to the Cloverfield series, doesn’t exactly bring a new concept to the table. Nazi zombies (or Nazi zombies, depending on your regional dialect) have been around for a moment.
Suzerain takes this proven concept and takes it up to eleven – raising the undead of the Third Reich to terrorize victims once again, but this time with a unique flair all its own.
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” no longer has magic
Located on the eve of D-Day in German occupied France, Suzerain chronicles the fight of five American paratroopers and their badass French ally as they attempt to escape the clutches of a terrifying villain. What begins as a modern take on a classic war tale quickly turns into a hellish nightmare marked by horrific medical experiences and horrific altercations with its patients for whom help is already too late.
Here are just a small fraction of the many reasons you must see Suzerain AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
This scheme is just bananas
In a world where Gritty the mascot is loved by everyone, it’s hard to be truly surprised by much. Fortunately, Suzerain delivers in spades when it comes to subverting expectations. When you expect a zig, they almost always zag. From fear of the surprise return to truly unsettling visual imagery, a shocking weirdness lurks behind every corner.
It delivers sympathetic characters quickly and efficiently
Give a little French boy a baseball and boom. Ended. Locked and charged emotional connection.
Suzerain knows you have to care about his characters to get involved in the action, but he doesn’t waste time on bloody stories. Similar to the awesome intro vignettes of Halloween, each character encountered and greeted is embellished with heartwarming touchstones that will leave you rooted for our heroes to reach the end; then it’s back to the zombie slaughter.
To use Adèle’s words: “But I set the … zombie on fire?”
Credit: peter mountain / paramount pictures
The story represents people of color and women
Almost all WWII movies focus on a group of white guys. Suzerain does too (shout out at Wyatt Russell and John Magaro, two national treasures), but it also highlights a person of color and a woman in the midst of the genre’s typical action.
Played respectively by Jovan Adepo and Mathilde Ollivier, Boyce and Chloé are Suzerainthe main heroes of. Boyce, one of the paratroopers, is a descendant of a Haitian immigrant and Chloe is a French woman who takes care of her family during the occupation.
Once again subverting expectations, Suzerain manages to avoid the well-known pitfalls of horror depiction. Namely, when you think Chloe is about to be saved by a man? She gets a flamethrower. Hell to yes.
Even the zombies are convincing
Over the years, science fiction has given us many different types of zombies. You got your quick fears, your slow walkies, your right-handed tights, your left-handed loosies – okay, I don’t know all about official names.
What I know is I like any kind of zombies Suzerain To. It’s like the evil Captain America meets an overly microwave-heated Hot Pocket. Spectacular.
The gore is appetizing and well placed
I’m not gonna lie to you. This movie is super disgusting. This poor woman’s face (you’ll know when you see her) is something I’ll probably never forget.
However, I would say almost everything is tactfully placed and executed effectively. Unless you’re particularly squeamish, I doubt you will find yourself cringing too excessively.
But maybe chill it on theater snacks … just in case.
Everything is just beautiful
Rarely do weeping wounds look pretty. And yet, here we are.
As the soldiers in our history crash into enemy territory, each image depicting their terror is beautiful enough to slap a postcard. (Although it is certain very shattering postcards.)
Out of fear or pure admiration, these images will stay with you.
The fight is not overdone
SuzerainHeroes know they are not bulletproof. As a result, there are relatively few scenes of mano-mano action between the Americans and the Nazis.
However, when those sequences come in, that strategic restraint, a little hint of realism in an otherwise bonkers movie, makes the fight much more satisfying.
“Guys, I have a light bulb.”
Credit: peter mountain / paramount pictures
The villain is sensational
The character of Pilou Asbæk in Suzerain makes Euron Greyjoy look like a cupcake.
Without going into the city of spoilers, let me say this: Halloween 2019, we get so many Wafner costumes. This guy is evil, upsetting, rude, mean, cruel and also completely rad.
It never hurts to remember the Nazis sucks
Well, this point just speaks for itself.
Suzerain is in theaters now.
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