The chances that World War II soldier Max Vatan (Brad Pitt: The Big Short) will survive his next mission are slim. He’ll be assassinating the German ambassador in Casablanca in a very public attack. Working with him is Marianne Beauséjour (Marion Cotillard: It’s Only the End of the World), a French resistance fighter.
The heat, the adrenaline and their own attractiveness bring Max and Marianne together. After a steamy affair and a successful mission, Max proposes, bringing Marianne to England.
By 1942, Max, Marianne and their small daughter seem to be living happily ever after in London, despite the German blitz. Until Marianne is flagged as a possible German spy.
Now Max must prove her innocent — or execute her — all in 48 hours.
Allied is a spy thriller without the thrills. The main problem is the relationship between Max and Marianne. How can two talented and attractive actors have so little chemistry? Their lack of sexual tension leaves you wondering why Max would marry Marianne, let alone risk treason to prove her innocence.
Pitt’s bizarre acting has him looking stiff and uncomfortable. When he’s not speaking, he strikes a pose and holds it until it’s his turn to talk.
Direction by legendary Robert Zemeckis (The Walk) guarantees that the film will look good. With lush costumes, sweeping camera work and expensive sets, he doesn’t disappoint. But by vacillating between dramatic scenes, harrowing action and broad comedy, he loses control of tone and tension. You watch not knowing if you’re supposed to laugh or be horrified.
Beautiful, it is, but weak on story and acting.
Fair Spy Thriller • R • 124 mins.