Director Robert Zemeckis Starring Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris Verdict Style over substance
DON’T judge a World War II thriller by the bias-cut folds of its leading lady’s mint-green, satin evening gown.
Or the rakish tilt of the leading man’s fedora.
Allied, director Robert Zemeckis’ old-fashioned romantic epic about two spies who fall in love during what would appear to be a suicide mission in Casablanca in 1942, certainly looks the part.
And the backdrop is similarly jaw-dropping.
The opening sequence, in which Brad Pitt’s dashing wing commander Max Vatan parachutes into the Moroccan desert, sets the tone.
A solitary figure surrounded in all directions by undulating sand dunes, he watches as a vehicle makes its way towards him, unclear until the last moment whether it’s friend or foe.
Underneath its impeccably tailored glad rags, however, Allied is about as animated as one of Madame Tussauds’ waxwork dummies.
Pitt is strangely stiff in the role of Vatan, a Canadian airman serving with the RAF in London.
The inadequacies of his accent are the least of the actor’s problems.
Marion Cotillard is an actor of great warmth and raw talent and while she fares a good deal better in the role of Marianne Beausejour, the film’s primary problem is the lack of chemistry between the two leads.
They have zero emotional connection on screen.
Since this is a film about a man who risks everything for love, that’s an obstacle that simply can’t be overcome.