By now you’ve already decided whether or not to see Allied and I’ll admit I totally dropped the ball pre-Thanksgiving holiday in writing this review which probably could have helped sway whether or not you saw this over the holiday weekend, but then again, who takes what I write that seriously? Ammiright??? To be honest, from the outside it does look appealing; Brad Pitt, WWII, spies, etc. All very alluring things when wanting to go to the theater to be entertained, however, the end result was not the case.
I am actually conflicted by this movie because the last 40 minutes or so was very well done that it almost made me forgive the first hour and a half. Put mildly, the front half of Allied is slow and quiet on purpose in an effort to heighten tension that is slowly simmering under the surface, but I don’t believe this is actually achieved. This is not to say that it doesn’t possess a good story, but I felt that it could have been executed in a better way in the beginning of the movie.
Both Max (Pitt) and Marianne (Cotillard) show a believable chemistry whether in their approach to their spying as well as after the war is over in their domesticated life. There were moments that were squandered where there could have been true relationship building scenes to further create a believable scenario. I mention this because while their chemistry was in-step with one another I do not believe there was enough detail and time spent on showing them grow into a couple and family together. It seemed that after their job was finished, they married and then BOOM! Family happens. For such a slow start to the actual beginning mission which brought them together, they could have diverted less attention towards that and more on how they readjusted to “normal” life post-war.
I know that I am probably being too picky with parts of Allied, but I cannot stress enough how “off” I felt the pacing early on was and this is my only real solution in remedying the issue. In short, it just appeared flat. You know there was to be something more to the relationship/story but by the time you noticed it the film had already whisked you forward into the next tension building moment. This is most easily seen through the actor’s charisma in which both Pitt and Cotillard play up the 40s glamour stereotype, which they do to perfection, in what almost seemed to be an homage to the movies and movie stars of that era, but that was all on the surface. The story never seemed to match this visual elegance and by the time it does catch up the movie comes to a close and you are left wanting just 10 more minutes of screentime so that Zemekis’ vision could be fully realized.
That is not to say that the last 40 minutes or so of the film were excellent where the true tension shined through and you were ultimately left wondering if Marianne was in fact a spy and if so, how would her now husband Max handle it. The twists and turns were actually exciting to the point where I couldn’t help but think where was this feeling the entire movie? Not only does the tension come boiling over but the emotional weight of the character’s decisions finally hits home and creates some truly amazing and beautiful scenes. All in all, Allied just needed to have better balance of build-up and action. Underneath this there was actually a good movie, but just not good enough to go see in theaters.
ALLIED – 2 GARYS