Allied movie review: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard are average; this is no Mr and Mrs Smith

Mihir Fadnavis

Jan,06 2017 16:46:40 IST


Allied is a kind of movie that belongs in a bygone era. It’s got two big attractive stars in a World War 2 set love story with a fairly implausible plot. It’s directed by Robert Zemeckis who was terrific in the 80’s and early 90’s but seems to have lost his way in the new millennium.

Allied in fact plays very much like a film from the 80s with huge and rich aesthetics, but fails to prove itself as a love-story, thriller worth watching on the big screen.

Brad Pitt plays Max, a Canadian Intelligence Officer who lands in Casablanca and is teamed up with the French spy Marianne (Marion Cotillard) on a mission where they go undercover as husband and wife. They’re handed the task to eliminate a German military head honcho. Predictably, role-play turns into something more as the two fall in love as they maneuver through their mission. What happens next is the more interesting part where Max suspects Marianne may not be who he think she is and embarks on a mission of his own to uncover the truth.


Brad Pitt and Marion Cottilard in Allied.

The problem arises pretty early on, when the film presents a fairy tale version of Morocco. There’s zero authenticity as everything, including Max’s car and pristine streets looks squeaky clean. We’re straightaway placed in a world where nothing is authentic so expecting the audience to believe in an already outlandish plot becomes a bit of a jaunt.

The whole Mr and Mrs Smith style narrative of keeping the audiences in the dark regarding the true motivations of the protagonists doesn’t really work because the film never really embraces the pulpy thrills of that movie. Instead it takes itself too seriously even though the escalation of ludicrous events continues.

There’s only so much you can take from the over the top production design, the extravagant period costumes and the giant set pieces when the story by Steve Knight just refuses to rise above the cornball level. It does not help that there is absolutely no chemistry between Cotillard and Pitt whose ‘suspect’ love story is supposed to keep your attention going. The supporting performances from big names like Lizzy Caplan as Max’s lesbian sister, Matthew Goode as an injured vet, and Jared Harris as the clichéd commanding officer pop up and disappear from the film without making any lasting impact. The best performance is in fact given by the CGI created sandstorm which, in an unintentionally hilarious manner, depicts the sexual proclivities of Max and Marianne during a love scene.

It’s befuddling that Pitt does such a massive belly flop with this film considering his terrific turns in the excellent WW2 film Fury just a year ago and Inglorious Bastards before that. There are shades of Hitchcock in the film but the twists and turns are painfully predictable for anyone who has seen half a dozen thrillers. Allied is ultimately an indulgent film that neither manages to entertain those looking for cinema of grand scale nor has the smarts to stand out in a crowd of big budget potboilers.

Updated Date: Sep 21, 2017 13:21 PM