Review by Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
During the height of the Second World War, a Canadian intelligence officer and a French Resistance fighter fall in love while taking down Nazis in Casablanca. After completing their mission, the two return to London where they hope marriage and a daughter will lead to their own happily ever after. Sadly, World War II was a time when suspicions of foreigners ran deep in England and Allied plays on these historical tendencies to paint a world where love may not conquer all.
Writer Steven Knight artfully draws out the tension Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) endures while he secretly tries to clear his wife Marianne (Marion Cotillard) of charges of high treason. Knight plants enough seeds of doubt on both sides of the argument to make Vatan seem like a blind fool as he repeatedly disobeys orders from his superiors and sets out on his own investigation.
Extended scenes of the Blitz are ham-handed but effective at reminding audiences why director Robert Zemeckis continues to be a director they trust to make interesting Movies. The gun fights are tense and Cotillard proves her mettle in an early gun fight proving that Allied works best when it veers away from romance and sticks to being a war time action piece.
Sumptuous costumes and sharp action aren’t enough to save this Movie from its true weakness: the lack of chemistry between Pitt and Cotillard. From his painfully-bad French accent to her lightning-fast switch from undercover agent to benign housewife, their love story feels forced and no amount of Benny Goodman swing music can cover that up.
Allied may be better known in the press for the Movie that may or may not have broken up Brangelina, but it deserves better. Much like the in Movie, seeds of doubt have been sewn in viewer’s minds and it us up to them to defy the rumours and be allies of great Movies rather than gossip.
Paramount Pictures Canada opens Allied on Wednesday, November 23, 2016.