A WARNING FOR FELLOW GEEKS OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
If you thought FURY was shit, do not watch ALLIED.
RCAF Intelligence Officer Wing Commander Max Vatan parachutes into the deserts of French Morocco. In Casablanca, he meets French Resistance member Marianne Beausejour. Their objective is to assassinate the German Ambassador, which they do, but not before they fall in love. After completing their task, the duo set up home in London, where they get married and have a daughter. There is a slight problem though: is Marianne really who she says she is?
Robert Zemeckis’ latest directorial left me stunned. I was stunned that the man behind that brilliant film Forest Gump was the man calling the shots on this Brad Pitt-Marion Cottilard starrer. Steven Knight, who has also written a great TV series called Peaky Blinders, messes up big time here. The premise of the story is interesting, the treatment isn’t. The romance is superficial, some of the dialogue corny, and chunks of the plot unbelievable and bordering on insult to the human brain (much like the whole screenplay of David Ayer’s Brad Pitt-starrer Fury). Don Burgess’ cinematography is a spectacle in itself. Gary Freeman (production design), Alan Silvestri (music) and Joanna Johnston (costume) all do a marvellous job. The visual effects department also pulls off a wonderful sandstorm, apart from other stuff. The action is choreographed well and executed well too.
Jared Harris finds himself in a rather caricatured role and struggles. What Matthew Goode was doing in this film is a question only Zemeckis and Knight can answer. Simon McBurney turns up and manages to induce some calm in the haphazard sandstorm that is Allied. Lizzy Caplan does a good job in her brief role, as does August Diehl. Marion Cottilard gets the meatier role and doesn’t fail. She portrays her character with conviction but lacks something. Brad Pitt has a tough job with an underdeveloped character and he doesn’t do half as good a job as Cottilard. His Canadian accent is non-existent, he frequently turns to ice, and genuinely looks out of place in some parts. It is hard to believe that this is the man who delivered standout performances in Se7en, Fight Club, and Inglourious Basterds. There is zero chemistry between the leads and the intimacy seems forced. Can’t believe I’m saying this but the baby playing Anna actually seemed to know her part!
Allied is a film I was really and truly looking forward to and disappointed by. Robert Zemeckis is capable of much better stuff, as is Steven Knight. And somebody should tell Brad Pitt that he’s a fantastic actor but these roles, at the age of 53, really need to stop. Jared Harris, what’s your excuse, you fine, fine actor?! Ms Cottilard, good job. And good job to that frigging baby!