Allied is a film about love, war and tragedy. The film takes place primarily in London during World War II, but the war is only a backdrop for the events of the movie. Robert Zemeckis has been hit or miss with his directorial efforts over the past few years, and Allied lands right in the middle. It has a few glaring flaws, but overall it’s a decent film with an interesting, albeit slightly worn out, premise.
The film focuses on high-ranking British military officer, Max Vatan (Brad Pitt), and his wife Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard). The two meet during an undercover operation in the city of Casablanca and eventually end up married. While the opening act of the film is interesting, filled with intrigue and action, it’s only meant to setup the relationship between Vatan and Beauséjour.
Unfortunately, the lively opening act is what creates a lackluster second act. After the relationship is established, the film enters a long, dry period as the true premise is revealed. It’s during this drawn out second act that the film suffers. The primary issue is that the relationship has already been established, but in order for the main plot to be believable, the audience has to go along with the deep love between the two main characters.
During the lengthy process of setting up the main plot, the audience is left in a daze of nothingness. Once this lifts and things are properly is established, the film picks up again as it enters the third and final act. It’s a difficult juggling act because the film needs to make the relationship believable, but it also needs to keep the plot moving instead of dragging along. Things are helped along by the acting of Frank Heslop (Jared Harris), Vatan’s commanding officer, but overall the middle of the film doesn’t stack up to the opening or climax.
Second act issues aside, Allied has a solid script and offers some of the best work we’ve seen from Brad Pitt in quite some time. The World War II Nazi presence also adds a sense of fear to the plot which wouldn’t be possible with most other evil organizations. In fact, everything about the film aside from the second act is stellar.
If you’re looking for a date movie this Thanksgiving weekend, Allied should do the trick. It offers plenty for the ladies, as well as enough action and suspense to keep the gentlemen engaged. The story moves along a little faster than Arrival, and doesn’t require as much thought, but if you need something a bit more family-oriented, Fantastic Beasts will likely be the more popular choice. Still, Allied is a solid selection for the holiday weekend if you’ve already seen last week’s offerings.
Allied: [yasr_overall_rating size=”large”]
Synopsis: In 1942, an intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Steven Knight
Stars: Brad Pitt, Vincent Ebrahim, Xavier De Guillebon, Marion Cotillard
Runtime: 2 Hours, 4 Minutes
Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.