In 1942, Intelligence Officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard) are tasked at going undercover in Casablanca to kill a German officer. Having never met before, their operation must be flawless and trust must be high, but when Max is told that Marianne might be a German spy, his is tasked with planting evidence to see if Marianne, now his wife, is against him.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Cast Away, Forrest Gump, Flight), Allied is a tale of 2 halves. With great acting and wonderful chemistry by the 2 leads, the first hour of the film is watching the 2 main characters meet, learn each other and fall in love. Their time in Casablanca is just about the 2 of them and how they click together and trust one another. This part of the movie is the romance and at times felt too long and drawn out. I understand that the character development is critical for the rest of the film, but when only a couple of interesting plot points occur, it can make you want to fall asleep.
The dividing point of the movie is after the 2 pull off the task in Casablanca. After the assassination of their target, the 2 regroup in London, get married and have a daughter. At this point the movie turns from a romance between partners into a mystery/suspense film about betrayal and loyalty. Max is told his wife might be a spy and that he needs to plant something to expose her. He is distraught, unsure and dumbfounded by this news and desperately wants to confront his wife, but he can’t or he will be convicted of treason. However, he takes matters into his own hands by investigating his wife’s background and to find out just who she really is. This part of the movie is just as it sounds – tense and gripping! The cat and mouse between the 2 is nerve-racking and the tone is completely different from the first act. I never felt bored and actually wanted the resolution to come as fast as possible so we could find out the truth!
This paragraph might contain minor spoilers so you might want to skip if you haven’t seen the movie………………………………………………………………….. the ending is the downfall of this movie. Sure the first hour moves along at a slow pace and is kinda boring, but the ending to this movie drops the ball big time! After spending 2 hours invested in this story, the ending just leaves you wishing that you hadn’t started it at all. Now, I want to be clear here, the movie is well made and well acted, but the writers made a horrible decision in the resolution of this film. I don’t see how anyone can see this film and think to themselves when it is over, “hey this ending was pretty good and I’m glad it turned out this way!” No one in their right mind will like this as they will feel cheated out of 2 hours from a movie that could have been great! At the time of me writing this, Rotten Tomatoes has this movie at 62% and for a movie of this caliber with the actors and director it has, this rating is LOW! This movie could have taken a different tone and direction to earn it a 90% or higher, but it didn’t and it shows.
At the end of the day, for 80% of Allied, I was engaged and interested. I cared about the characters and what happened to them, but when it is all said and done, the writing/story is this movies biggest downfall and it could have been so much better. For this kind of movie, the 62% on Rotten Tomatoes should be a red flag and I am not recommending this movie. Co-starring Lizzy Caplin, Jared Harris, August Diehl, and Simon McBurney.
5/10 Stars – This movie has everything right going for it (acting, directing, production) except for the questionable writing that will make everyone who watches it question their investment into the story.