The new Robert Zemeckis film, Allied, was not one that I thought I was going to enjoy. Yet, I was surprised at how much I did enjoy the film.
This is really a romance film, which was unexpected. It was promoted more as a spy thriller set in World War II, but I was as engaged with the relationship early on in the movie as I was with the spy shenanigans at the end.
Max (Brad Pitt) goes on a mission to assassinate a German officer and he hooked up with Marianne (Marion Cotillard) as a partner. They were pretending to be husband and wife to infiltrate the target’s world and, along the way, they fall in love. After the mission ended, they went back to London, married and started a family.
Problem. London intelligence determined that Marianne was not actually who she said she was and was, in truth, a German spy. They planned on setting her up to prove this story and, if true, wanted Max to execute her.
I was surprised at how connected I felt to Max and Marianne as a couple. When the whole German spy thing came up, I was never sure if it were true or not. The film played it coyly throughout, and it kept me uncertain. I liked that. I like the fact that I wasn’t sure if Marianne was really a German spy or if it were just British Intelligence messing with them. I had convinced myself both ways as the film progressed.
There were some pacing issues with the movie. There were some shots that could have been edited out to bring the run time down a little bit. I think that would have helped make this feel a tighter story.
Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard were excellent in their roles, and I completely bought them as a couple in love. I believed completely in Pitt and his conflicted mind as he struggled to prove that his wife was not what she was accused of being. If these characters were unconvincing, the entire film would fall apart. They made me believe.
The film was also very much of a throwback to films of yesteryear. In particular, the film was an homage to Casablanca. Zemeckis was clearly inspired by those films and wanted to make a film to honor them.
I liked Allied more than I thought I would, and it is nice when a film surprises me.