Always a big draw name, Brad Pitt is one of those actors who will usually get butts in seats, especially when he’s leading them. Granted, his last lead role was in his soon to be ex-wife Angelina Jolie’s vanity project, By The Sea; but you know what I’m getting at, the guy’s a star. Pair him up with the international beauty of Marion Cotillard and you’ve got my cash. Adding to the mix that the new film Allied comes from director Robert Zemeckis, a filmmaker with, really, only a few actually terrible movies. I mean, this is the guy who brought us Forrest Gump, Back To The Future and last year’s The Walk, something I really enjoyed. On the other hand, he did Contact and that was a waste of time.
Allied takes place in 1942 at the beginning of a top secret assassination plot against a Nazi official. Canadian operative Max Vatan (Pitt) parachutes into Morocco to meet with French Resistance fighter Marianne Beauséjour (Cotillard), who is to pose as his wife in the storied city of Casablanca. The two set up their false marriage for their cover but eventually find themselves drawn to each other and, at a pivotal point in their mission, give in to their desires. After their mission is completed, Max and Marianne move to London where Max shifts to a pencil pusher job. Having given birth to a baby girl, Marianne is the stay at home wife but things get murky when it is revealed by high ranking officials that she may actually be a German spy and Max must prove her innocence without clueing her into the investigation.
Allied has all the ingredients to make a good World War II thriller, with great actors leading and an intriguing storyline of duplicity. Unfortunately, the film came off very false and Hollywood glitzy as soon as the beginning credits had finished. Allied is a massively clean looking film that is seemingly trying to play off the older Hollywood hits that inspired Zemeckis to make it. Picturesque shots of Brad Pitt parachuting onto dunes in Morocco, the birth of their child in the middle of a German blitzkrieg on London or seeing their child’s first steps, oddly enough, in front of a downed German bomber, all of it doesn’t come off as beautifully cinematic, just completely contrived. After being turned off by this at the start, I was never able to get back on board for the story.
Heading into Allied, I was really looking forward to an interesting story but I felt entirely underwhelmed by everything I was seeing. Pitt and Cotillard are both massive movie stars that fill the picture whenever they’re onscreen but the movie itself is both inconsequential and a total letdown. I felt that there were large logic gaffes, mostly pertaining to military procedures and never once do we think that Max is in any kind of peril, as he is established to be the perfect soldier, with every bullet going exactly where it should be and every grenade toss having a precise landing. For a movie taking place in a harrowingly real time and place, Allied feels like a false step into Hollywood gloss. 2.5/5