REVIEW – Allied straddles line between ‘bland’ and ‘bust’

Sure, there are some visually stunning moments, and Marion Cotillard is charming. But that’s about it.

Ah, yes – we finally get to see that film that “allegedly broke up” Brangelina. (Did you just hear my eyes roll?) To be honest, I don’t think it did – namely because of the modest chemistry between the two stars of Allied. (I’ll get to that later.)

Also, for what it’s worth, I think there was far more going on between Brad and Angelina in Mr. & Mrs. Smith…though, that’s neither here, nor there.

I digress.

Set during World War Two, Canadian intelligence officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and French resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Cotillard) meet and fall in love. They eventually marry, have a child, and settle down in London. A year after the birth of their daughter, Anna, Max is told his wife may be a German spy. Desperately in love with her, he sets out to clear her name.

I knew this movie was going to go one of two ways: be surprisingly good, or completely underwhelming. Sad to say, the latter trumps the former. While I love Marion, and am often lukewarm to Pitt (I prefer him in his Oceans Eleven or Fight Club roles), this really didn’t do much for me in the way of story telling or acting. For the most part, I was bored. Fortunately, we get to see some nice cinematography work, but that wasn’t enough to make up for how sleepy I felt watching this.

After the big song and dance about Cotillard and Pitt possibly getting too close on set, I’ll admit: I was suckered in for about five minutes when it came up in discussions with friends.

“Do you think Marion was responsible? Do you think she broke them up?”

First of all, I don’t generally care. But if someone were to ask me again – now that I’ve seen this film, I’m 100% sure she didn’t.

Pitt seems so detached from Cotillard. Cotillard is far more convincing than he is – she wants to be there. Then again, I find she’s like that with every film; you can tell she cares about the projects she takes on. But to me, Pitt seems so bored. At times, he comes across as standoffish, and sometimes he’s overextending himself – as he does in this scene below.

It was that chair kick at the 0:14 mark that really did it for me.

There’s usually a point in film where there’s a pivotal moment in the story – usually the climax. By the time that came around, I was too bored to care about the characters. It had reached “peak underwhelming.” Think of it this way: this film was like being promised a steak dinner, mashed potatoes, and cauliflower au gratin. Then, when the waiter comes out, you get no steak, boxed mashed potatoes, and cauliflower that hasn’t been washed. I’m a little full from what I’ve eaten, but I need more to satiate my movie-going appetite!

Oh, and by the way – it’s generally not a good sign when you see most of the film in the trailers.

I know this will probably be a Thanksgiving holiday weekend draw. Perhaps not as big as Moana, but enough to make a little bit of money back.

Overall, Allied is too dull to be anywhere near good, and if you must see it, see it on a cheapie Tuesday. Two boring, barely star-crossed spies out of five.


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