Allied: movie review

Published 1:09 pm Friday, December 2, 2016



Director Robert Zemeckis, who has helmed high tension movies from “What Lies Beneath” to “Cast Away”, is no stranger to keeping audiences perched on the edge of their seats. But his latest vehicle, “Allied”, a World War II thriller starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, lacks the intrigue of the era.

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In 1942, Max Vatan (Pitt), a Canadian intelligence officer, parachutes into Nazi-occupied French Morocco, where he links up with French resistance fighter Marianne Bousejour (Cotillard). The latter poses as Vatan’s wife so the pair can attend a party to assassinate a German official. The two eventually fall in love during a ten day whirlwind romance and get married. When Vatan brings his wife back to England, she is accused of being a spy and he has to prove her innocence. If he can’t, he’ll be forced to kill her.

And that’s where the problems begin, both in “Allied” and for those watching it. With middling chemistry between the stars, it’s hard to believe that Pitt and Cotillard could become enamored with each other, never mind decide to get married, within ten days. They have their moments, particularly during a pivotal scene in a bar at film’s end, but one-note line deliveries and borderline melodramatic performances make for two forgettable characters.

The plot isn’t any more memorable. Zemeckis’ film is divided into two parts: the mission in Morocco and Vatan’s attempts to exonerate his wife back on the homefront. Slow pacing bogs down both of these chapters and the two hour running time feels a lot longer. The movie’s sparse action scenes lend some exhilaration to an otherwise bland script made even greyer by washed out cinematography.

For a thriller, “Allied” could benefit from more thrills. World War II needs no added drama, particularly not the heavy-handed kind.