Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - WHAT'S ON PLANNER -

A SOLID di­rec­tor and cast make a rare stum­ble in their ca­reers, turn­ing a po­ten­tially crack­ing spy/ro­mance story into a dull, life­less and flat-as-a-plank af­fair.

Af­ter Cana­dian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) teams up with French Re­sis­tance fighter Mar­i­anne Beause­jour (Mar­ion Cotil­lard) and suc­cess­fully as­sas­si­nates the Ger­man am­bas­sador, they fall in love and start a fam­ily.

Hid­ing in Lon­don, it comes to Max’s at­ten­tion that de­spite be­ing a stay-at-home mum and rais­ing their daugh­ter, Mar­i­anne may be a spy.

He goes to great lengths to prove her in­no­cence, all the while afraid he may ac­tu­ally un­cover a sea of lies.

An or­di­nar­ily ter­rific cast stag­gers un­der the direc­tion of usu­ally re­li­able Robert Ze­meckis, who seems like he was asleep dur­ing film­ing and ev­ery­one else fol­lowed his ex­am­ple.

In­stead of spik­ing ten­sion, the film re­mains strangely pas­sion-less with the ro­mance be­tween the leads al­most as non-ex­is­tent as the sus­pense.

Max risks his life to find out if Mar­i­anne is re­ally who she says she is, fly­ing solo into en­emy ter­ri­tory, but it is treated with sur­pris­ing non­cha­lance.

Key mo­ments such as a love scene in a car in the mid­dle of a desert storm and giv­ing birth in the cen­tre of a war zone are awk­ward and bor­der­line com­i­cal.

Mar­ion Cotil­lard and Brad Pitt in Al­lied.

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