During World War II, intelligence officer Max Vatan(Brad Pitt) is paired up with French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour(Marion Cotillard) on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Their mission brings them closer, ultimately causing them to fall in love, but their relationship is threatened by the extreme pressures of the war.
On paper, this movie should be Oscar bait, but it falls short due to it’s problematic pacing and some dry performances. It sounds like overkill at this point, but chemistry is very important in any romance film. I always find comedies the hardest films to make, but I feel as though romance is always hard to evoke in any movie. I appreciated what Pitt and Cotillard tried to bring to the table, but it came off dry, and the poor, and somewhat boring pacing doesn’t help either.
When conflict arises and things get going, they provide some entertainment with some tension building moments. Pitt’s character Max goes through the extreme to prove that his wife Marianne isn’t a spy for the Germans. So to that degree, at least the characters were somewhat engaging.
Some characters in the film are also distractingly unnecessary like Lizzy Chaplan as Pitt’s sister in the film Bridget Vatan. She didn’t really serve anything to the plot at all. Robert Zemeckis has his hits and misses and does a competent job for the most part. But his best work is still Back to the Future. I just had to point that out. Technically the film is well made. It’s lit fabulously, and the film itself is a huge throwback to 40’s cinema. The set design is immersive and it showcases some delicate costumes for both leads. The film is overall visually rich and very pleasant to look at.
Allied is at it’s most compelling when it’s a spy thriller, not when it’s a sweeping romance with a WWII backdrop. At least the romance aspect is the one thing that most WWII films don’t really bring to the table, as it is very uncommon.
Flashy, but a bit of a bore. 6/10