Release date: 25th November 2016/Watch the trailer here
Allied is a World War II love story about a Canadian intelligence officer, Max Vatan (Brad Pitt), who meets and falls in love with a French Resistance fighter, Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard), when the two must pretend to be a married couple in Casablanca while on a mission to assassinate a German ambassador. They immediately marry upon their return to London, but their relationship is tested after it is suggested to Max that Marianne may actually be a German spy.
Although directed by Robert Zemeckis, it seems unlikely that Allied will join the likes of Back to the Future and Forrest Gump as an instant classic – although not without trying. Therein lies the main problem with Allied: with awards season just around the corner, it’s trying far too hard to be a lot better than it actually is.
As a result, Allied feels decidedly camp throughout – and while a bit of cheese isn’t always a bad thing, it’s clearly not intentional.
Near enough everything else about Allied is polished to perfection, however – from the lavish Casablanca locale of the film’s first half to the impeccably crafted costumes; what Allied lacks in substance it more than makes up for in style. Meanwhile, Cotillard breathes life into something which could have been rather lacklustre without her captivating performance. It’s completely believable that Max would fall head over heels in love with Marianne, spy or no, and while the chemistry is undeniably there, Pitt’s performance is lacking in comparison.
Allied has some memorable moments scattered throughout: a love scene in a car in the middle of a sandstorm; Marianne giving birth during the Blitz as a hospital is blown to smithereens around her. Unfortunately, these moments of greatness are infrequent, buried within a formulaic plot that takes itself far too seriously and ending with a predictable finale that underwhelms, when it should be doing precisely the opposite. If only Zemeckis had dared to have a little more fun.