Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.
The spy genre is quite the crowded one, with everything from slow burn dramas such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy to more action oriented fare with the Bourne and iconic James Bond series.
Allied fits closer to the former in that spectrum, a slow burn drama of lies, deceit and unravelling of an obvious truth that is interspersed with some intense, adrenaline-fuelled and much needed action to break up the pace.
At its heart though, Allied is a romantic drama, following the relationship between Max and Marianne set against a backdrop of two monolithic giants and the effect of the two warring powers upon their lives. With the intensity of the blitz rearing its head each night just to remind them the harsh reality of their world; it’s highly effective and well executed, though to be expected from a veteran filmmaker such as Robert Zemeckis. A filmmaker that has had quite the storied career, directing some of the best films to ever grace the cinematic medium, and whilst Allied has the potential to be one of his best, it sadly falls short in the script department.
The question that Allied asks has an obvious answer, and therein lies its greatest flaw. With a script far too straightforward for its own good, that needed much more layering to instill the viewer with the question and keeping them on tenterhooks, wondering till the very end. Sadly the answer is obvious, so any revelation to the effect is powerless, but the emotional aspect Allied exudes is still riveting viewing - if at times highly cliched - with a conclusion that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.
But I feel that screenwriter Steven Knight missed a trick in writing Allied, to not be far more duplicitous with not only the genre he finds himself in, but the character of Marianne and a performer like Marion Cotillard, who really is the perfect fit for that kind of role.
Allied is a technically solid slow burn drama, that offers a slight mix of everything to cover every demographic, from moments of spontaneous action to a romantic throughline at its heart.
- 3 Out of 5 Stars
Cliché romance in parts
Solid film making
Moments of action
Release Date: 25th November
Runtime: 2 hr 4 mins
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Lizzy Caplan, Simon McBurney & Matthew Goode
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
- Child 44
No, the spurts of action are violence-filled.
For the limited French dialog spoken by Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard acted as his tutor.
The inspirations for the film's costumes were Casablanca (1942) and Now, Voyager (1942), where the costumes combined both simplicity and beauty.