review by Bobby Blakey
Throughout his career Robert Zemeckis has delivered some truly great films including Forrest Gump, Romancing the Stone, Flight, The Walk and the Back to the Future series. Now he is taking on the spy game with his latest Allied starring Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, and Lizzy Caplan, but does it offer up anything that’s worth the mission or will it be a deeper betrayal than expected?
Allied follows an intelligence officer in 1942 North Africa who 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. Going into this I was hoping for a really great espionage thriller, but I didn’t get all I was hoping for. The movie as a whole is decent enough, but it runs a bit too long with a slow pace before really getting to the real intrigue of it all. The first half of the film focuses on their initial mission and the two leads getting to know each other. The mission aspects works great and offers up and intriguing war story, but the relationship building is hit and miss. As this aspect of the film grows I never quite bought into their relationship which is an issue since the entire film hinges on it. I usually love Pitt but here he is a bit stiff and neither of them have really good chemistry with each other. Despite this it could have still worked, but the whole thing felt rushed once they started pushing it towards an actual relationship as if they just wanted to get to the next chapter.
The second half of the film is where it really works. In the trailer it shows that the government suspects she is a German spy which then kicks off the true thriller mystery of the film. While the film never gets all that suspenseful it does manage to work most of the time. AS Pitt scours the country trying to get evidence to prove his wife is not who they say she is they try to keep the relationship side a big center piece, but while their chemistry works better at this point it still never fully drives it all home. There are some great moments during this part of the mystery with Pitt engaging with other characters and even some action that will keep you invested, but it never fully delivers the film it could have been. The one aspect that has been bothering me and I am not sure in a good or bad way is the overall look of the film. The costuming and visuals are great, but most of the film felt like it was on an old Hollywood back lot. This could have been on purpose to give it that old style feel, but it sometimes felt out of place too.
This is far from a bad film, but fails to be the film it strived to be. The strong cast and great director should have been a sure thing, but the missteps took it down a notch. Some will likely really enjoy it and others hate it completely, but there majority will likely see the decent but average film that is the finished product.
In addition to the film this release will include numerous featurettes that take you further behind the making of this war thriller. Join the fight when Allied comes to Digital HD on February 14th followed by 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand on February 28th from Paramount Home Entertainment.